Our people, our community
“Train your people well enough so that they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to” – Richard Branson
Taaibosch wants to thrive as a pork producer, but it also gives us great satisfaction to help others thrive in our surrounding community. We host and provide continuous training opportunities and skills development for all employees, and we endeavour to help small-scale economic development of our staff and those who supply services from the community.
Instead of investing in our own vehicles, we decided to collaborate with a local entrepreneur to transport our employees to and from work. By not keeping everything in-house, we create an opportunity to work with the community in a mutually beneficial way. Due to the nature of our contract and the predictability it brings, the entrepreneur was able to expand his business and procure more taxis. Our employees now have reliable and safe transport and a dedicated provider that takes special care of their transport and well-being. The same transport provider can be used by employees who need to visit the medical clinic for regular treatments or general practitioner for ad-hoc treatments.
We employ a local security company to do on-farm surveillance, access control and regular patrols – not only on-farm, but on communal farm roads as well, maintaining visibility and awareness for the sake of neighbours and the surrounding community. This ensures the safety of all employees, animals and produce, as far as possible.
We collaborate with local universities to aid students in practical learning and regularly receive students for practical exposure. We collaborate with the North West University in their Industrial Engineering final year by providing final year project opportunities. As part of our waste and environmental management approach, we are also collaborating with the Environmental Engineering department of the NWU.
On a regular practical basis, UNISA has contracted us to provide the facility and knowledge to provide practical training and exposure to their Animal Health Technician students.
A socio-economic analysis of our employees and their communities concluded that we affect 280 people only as part of direct employment. The idea of a self-managed community vegetable garden was born out of this study as it was one of the identifiable markers by employees to aid them in development. Recently this project has evolved into a Sweet Palermo and bell pepper production unit and now form part of the farm's diversification and circular economy strategy and allows us to employ and train more people.
Another key aspect highlighted during our survey is the need for education and developmental opportunities for employees’ children. The education requirements include access to learning material, online applications, life skills and transferable technical skills. A training centre was converted and equipped for this purpose at the start of 2020. We teach students about farming through our vegetable garden.
The taxi services were also adjusted and improved due to this study as safety to and from taxi collection points was also a critical identifier in the study. This analysis gave us great insight to our workers' and community’s needs and enabled us to channel resources to where they would matter most and provide maximum impact.
We try to support the causes that are close to our managers’ hearts. One example is the annual Potchefstroom Rotary Club dragon boat racing event that is held at Potchefstroom Dam, which raises funds for cancer patients.
In 2019 we took part in a health awareness campaign with Deelkraal Clinic, which was positively received by all and had a big impact on the TB and HIV screening rate in our area. We also have a yearly flu vaccination drive on farm, making sure these health services are easily accessible to our employees.
We are firm believers of an integrated supply chain approach to emerging and developing farmers instead of following a pure mentorship programme. The various activities of the Taaibosch Group will enable us to engage in long-term integration programmes with livestock and grain farmers with different levels of capacity and experience in commercial agriculture. The selection of partners takes place on an individual basis through a strict pre-determined programme.
Developing future farmers
Access to pig farms is often restricted, but Taaibosch believes in the power of collaboration and cooperation. Though biosecurity measures are adhered to, through our initiatives with universities, technical universities and agri colleges, we aim to provide students the opportunity to do their practical training, internships and postgraduate studies at Taaibosch. Here they will broaden their knowledge and be provided with hands-on experience.
*As part of our integrated approach to development and waste management, we have an opportunity available for an aspiring entrepreneur to process, package and distribute our organic fertilizer as part of the Taaibosch Group offering.
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