The two major industry bodies in the fynbos sector, the South African Protea Producers and Exporters Association (SAPPEX) and the Protea Producers of South Africa (PPSA) are set to amalgamate. At the same time, however, CapeNature will for the time being no longer support a Sustainable Harvesting Project Manager in the organisation.
Following a special Annual General Meeting, held in March near Riviersonderend, it was decided that SAPPEX would disband. The PPSA will now be tailored to serve the whole industry as a new organisation to be known as Cape Flora SA.
Members of both organisations agreed to the proposal, which will see the new non-profit company registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).
Cape Flora SA will be registered as a Non-Profit Company (NPC). While the PPSA had already itself been registered as a Section 21 company, SAPPEX was an association. According to the SAPPEX board in a list of resolutions compiled for members to vote on, the decision to amalgamate would allow the new non-profit company to meet the needs of the industry better than in the past. It notes that the fynbos industry is experiencing changing trends and operational requirements. As such, the NPC would be able to take these into consideration for the benefit of the industry as a whole.
The current committee members of the PPSA and SAPPEX will initially serve as the directors for Cape Flora SA, until the annual general meeting is held later this year.
In the meantime, for the time being CapeNature will not (for financial reasons) be able to fill its Sustainable Harvesting Project Manager contract position – although they continue to support and contribute to the Sustainable Harvesting Programme housed within Flower Valley. It’s hoped the conservation agency will, however, readvertise the post as soon as it is in a position to do so. Flower Valley Conservation Trust will continue to work closely with relevant CapeNature officials.
Despite the change at CapeNature, fynbos suppliers will still need to apply for flower harvesting licences from the conservation group. Although applications will continue to be processed through CapeNature’s head office in Cape Town, renewals of licences are updated at regional CapeNature offices. As such, the time taken to renew licences should be reduced in future.
CapeNature has also made it possible to apply for harvesting on several properties in one application, which should also reduce the administrative burden for fynbos suppliers. While land owners selling fynbos from their land only need to renew licences every three years, harvesters need to reapply annually.