by | Jul 19, 2023 | Press releases

South Africa Wine is excited to announce its new pruning competition, commencing this August in collaboration with FELCO and Vinpro.

With knowledge transfer as one of the main objectives of South Africa Wine’s People Development department, this competition offers an opportunity to the farm worker environment to develop a key competency within the primary production space.

The South Africa Wine Pruning Competition will have five qualifying events prior to the final event to be held at Boland Agricultural School in Paarl on Thursday, 31 August. The qualifying events will take place on:

1 August       Paarl/Swartland regional at Bosman Adama.

4 August       Olifants River regional at Werda Baken.

15 August     Robertson/Klein Karoo regional at Zandvliet.

16 August     Worcester/Breedekloof regional at Nuy Wine Cellar.

17 August     Stellenbosch/Cape South Coast regional at Grondves.

“The South Africa Wine Pruning Competition in collaboration with FELCO and Vinpro paves the way for recognition for Agri-workers taking part in this competition,” says Kachné Ross, People Development Manager at South Africa Wine. “It provides them with much-needed acknowledgement, learning opportunities, career development, and knowledge transfer opportunities within our sector.”

During the qualifying rounds, each participant’s knowledge of pruning is put to the test during a practical pruning session. Vinpro’s viticulture consultants will provide specialised training on these days, as well as judge the participants. The top three participants from each region will compete at the final where the first, second and third places will receive the coveted Train-the-trainer packages worth R10 000 for their respective farms, as well as cash prizes from FELCO to the value of R6 000 – R3 000 for first place, R2 000 for second place and R1 000 for third place.

This package is based on a DVD training package, of which the 10 modules are available online. These include pruning, vineyard establishment, vine development, canopy management, soil management, identification of diseases and pests, irrigation, fertilisation, wine grape harvesting, and soil science. The e-learning platform is then made available to the winning producers as a one-year license. During the training session a Vinpro expert will explain how the system works, and how the team leaders and teams can utilise the training together in the most efficient way.

“By winning the Train-the-trainer packages, each winner and their respective farms will unlock the opportunity for career development,” says newly appointed Vinpro Consultation Services Manager, Dr Etienne Terblanche. “Upon successful completion of their training, the team leaders will be registered with the SAWIPB as vineyard worker foremen/women with special status and recognition. Each person who completes a module with an assessment above 80% also receives an e-certificate that they can download and print or keep on their profile if they need it for career advancement.”

During with the farm worker leg of the competition, FELCO will be running the schools’ and academic institutions’ qualifying events where they will provide skills training. The top three students from each institution will also compete at the final event to determine the overall winners. FELCO will provide medals, awards, and other prizes at the final event to these winners.

“FELCO’s main goal is to acknowledge all our pruners who must carry out this difficult, but necessary task,” says Gys Liebenberg of FELCO. “On average 8 000 to 15 000 cuts per day are done by a vineyard pruner in South Africa. Training Agri-workers and assisting lecturers at academic institutions with practical pruning workshops and competitions is a huge priority for us. A happy and well-trained pruner is a very good asset for any grower.”

The South Africa Wine Pruning Competition, in collaboration with Vinpro and FELCO, is free of charge on condition a FELCO pruner is used during the pruning contest.

Enter here: https://forms.gle/GcuyaX1ogkCNzfm99.


South Africa Wine

Wanda Augustyn
Communications and Brand Manager: South Africa Wine
Tel: 021 276 0458
E-mail: wanda@sawine.co.za

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