Published by: Farmer’s Weekly, August 15, 2014,  Stanley Karombo

Massmart Holdings, South Africa’s biggest food and goods wholesaler, says it has successfully linked more than 100 farmers into formal retail.

The company, owned by the world’s largest grocer, WalMart, also facilitated total sales of R10 million with the majority directly sold to Massmart, and trained more than 300 smallholder farmers in crop production, technical and food safety requirements.

This was according to Sherry-Lee Singh, Massmart Holdings supply development manager for the direct farm programme.

Speaking at a African Farmers Workshop and Expo held in Johannesburg recently, Singh said Massmart’s Ezemvelo Direct Farm programme is run through its local supplier development fund.

The programme is focused on sourcing primary vegetables from smallholders for resale through Massmart outlets, such as Makro, Game, Cambridge Foods and Jumbo, said Singh.

The Ezemvelo programme is now in its second year, with its first smallholder deliveries being received in August 2012.