Saai, South Africa’s network for family farmers, was invited by the World Farmers Markets Coalition (WFMC) to represent farmers’ markets in Southern Africa. The WFMC is an international umbrella organisation for local farmers’ markets and is administered and coordinated from Rome by Campangna Amica, the Italian national agricultural union Coldiretti’s farmers’ market wing. This organisation shares expertise, technology, experience and ideas between local markets where the distance between the farmer and the consumer are kept as short as possible and where especially urban consumers have direct access to farmers.
Saai was invited due to the organisation’s expertise and experience in digital marketing with its online shop for family wine farmers. Saai started The Wine Farmer in 2020 with the need to make the stock of smaller and medium sized wine farms directly available to consumers at cellar door prices after the devastating effects that the wine ban had on the South African wine industry during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Since The Wine Farmer placed the spotlight on the fate and unique position of family wine farmers in the market, the OK-group also joined the campaign and made dedicated shelf space available to boutique wines of family farms. This is the success with which Saai, in a country with great distances, efficiently gets a product of family-based farmers to the consumer, which according to Carmelo Troccoli, chairman of the WFMC, is attractive to them.
The WFMC is a network partner of the World Farmers’ Organisation where Saai earlier this year received recognition and joined as a representative for commercial farmers in South Africa. Iné Bester, Saai’s Operational Manager and Managing Director for The Wine Farmer, will represent Southern Africa on the board of management at the WFMC and believes that the direct digital marketing of agriculture products, hunting events, agricultural tourism and even investing opportunities holds great potential.