South Africa’s first wine tourism exhibition

first_imgWine tourism will finally get its own official exhibition when the Vindaba takes place in September next year. (Image: Franschhoek Wine Route) MEDIA CONTACTS • André Morgenthal  Wosa communications manager  +27 21 883 3860 or +27 82 658 3883 RELATED ARTICLES • Wine route celebrates 40 years • SA wine farms invest in biodiversity • SA, France toast to wine exchange • SA wine bottles to lighten up • SA wines lead ‘green’ label driveShamin ChibbaTwo of South Africa’s leading industries, wine and tourism, will combine for the country’s first ever wine tourism exhibition.The Vindaba takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) in September next year and will run parallel with the Cape Wine exhibition at the same venue.The exhibition, backed by both national and provincial governments, will target the international travel trade as well as wine, travel and lifestyle media.According to André Morgenthal, Wines of South Africa’s (Wosa) communications manager, the Vindaba will look to exhibit the hotels, restaurants, wine routes, tour operators and farms that are linked to the wine industry.As South Africa is considered a world leader in eco-sustainable wine production, organisers aim to promote Vindaba as a green initiative by using recycled and recyclable materials.The Vindaba is the brainchild of Wosa, South African Tourism, Cape Town Tourism, Wine Routes, Cape Town Routes Unlimited and the Department of Finance, Tourism and Economic Development of the Western Cape.Morgenthal explained that the CTICC was chosen as a venue because it is able to accommodate the exhibition’s expected 1 000+ guests and more than 320 wineries and 100 travel trade organisations.Though the Vindaba and Cape Wine are taking place at the same time, Morgenthal said they target two different industries. The former looks to attract international tour operators who specifically offer wine tours, while the latter targets wine traders.SA part of the global wine tourism industryWine tourism contributes R5-billion (US$720-million) of the local wine industry’s annual R22-billion ($3.2-billion) turnover.Speaking at a stakeholder’s workshop in April this year, tourism minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said wine tourism is currently one of the fastest growing sectors in the global tourism market. He further stated that it should be central in marketing South Africa as a long-haul destination.Van Schalkwyk added that wine tourism provides the country with a competitive edge when it comes to the global tourism market, especially over destinations such as Brazil, Kenya, Australia and Thailand.Another South African advantage is that the majority of vineyards are concentrated in the Western Cape, making travelling easier for tourists.With an organised wine tourism sector, more jobs will be created in an industry that already employs as much as 275 000 workers.Wine tourism’s long road to approvalThough wine tourism has been part of South Africa’s tourism setup since 1971, when the Stellenbosch wine route was launched, it has never received the marketing treatment that Vindaba promises.Morgenthal has spent nine of his 10 years in the wine industry trying to persuade relevant parties to believe in the value of wine tourism. “I was bashing my head and knocking on doors to officialise wine tourism.”He believes a lack of resources delayed its recognition as a worthwhile investment. He added that the industry had to mature over time before its intrinsic and financial value became evident.The phenomenon of wine tourismThe global growth of wine tourism can be attributed to the influence of the media, said Morgenthal, who believes genres such as the internet and television have played massive roles in shaping the public’s perception of wine in the last five years.He said people have become so interested in lifestyle and cooking shows that entire television networks are now dedicated to such shows. Thanks to these networks and the internet, the lifestyle attached to food and wine has become easily accessible.People, said Morgenthal, are willing to spend money on trips to vineyards that produce their favourite wines.“They want to get closer to the real thing, for the experience beyond the bottle. They want to be part of the process. When they are there, the wine tastes better.”Additionally, a trip to a vineyard educates enthusiasts who want to know more about wine.Morgenthal said some vineyards are finding creative ways to lure consumers by offering mountain bike rides, horse rides and even jungle gyms for children, therefore compelling the consumer to extend their visit.last_img read more

Reading to boost our self esteem

first_imgProjects like National Book Week promote reading, with a special focus on young people. (Image: SABDC) A society that reads lifts its self-esteem remarkably. (Image: www.se7en.org.za) Former minister of arts and culture Pallo Jordan had a vision of South African children being taught to read in their home languages. (Image: Flickr) MEDIA CONTACT • Tebogo Ditshego  Founder: ReadaBookSA  RELATED ARTICLES • Nollybooks: Literacy with love • Africa’s first children’s newspaper • Getting needy kids hooked on books • SA pupils win World Literary Quiz Valencia TalaneIt all started with a tweet on 1 May 2012 notifying people using the social network site of a campaign that was geared not at book lovers, but those who needed to get into the habit.The first objective of ReadaBookSA was to secure 4 000 Twitter followers by the beginning of June 2012, when it would be marking its one-month anniversary. The target was reached, and passed, as early as mid-May, and by 1 June it had comfortably passed the 5 000 mark.Tebogo Ditshego is the founder of the movement, and his dream is to bring reading into the everyday lives of South Africans. This means quite a culture shift in a country with a literacy rate of 89%, which is lower than its fellow developing countries.When you follow ReadaBookSA, you essentially pledge to read at least one book a month, an undertaking that Ditshego says is very possible.“One book a month sounds like a lot, but it turns you into a constant reader, and once you’ve gotten into the habit of doing it that often it will feel only natural to pick up a new book as soon as you’ve finished the last.”He adds that he foresees a point in the life of the campaign where participants will be able to “read and tweet” books, so that the network is able to stay updated on what interesting new books are out there.Ditshego feels that there are no limits to how far the project can go.“It may have started on Twitter, but there’s no telling how it will expand,” he says.He is not keen, however, to let the cat out of the bag on possible partnerships the project might go into. Not as yet, anyway.“There are a few proposals, but nothing concrete yet. We are still a young campaign and naturally, we’re open to ideas.”One idea he has is that in future, when the project is firmly set on its path and is enjoying great impact, it might move towards taking part in exchanging, if not donating, books on behalf of members and perhaps even publishing companies.Ditshego also envisions a future where South Africans will embrace reading much more than is the case today.“A society with a strong culture of reading can significantly lift its self-esteem,” he declares.The UN Development Report of 2011 ranks South Africa at 58 in terms of literacy, out of 123 countries. The good news is that the level has improved from around 82% in 1995, to 89% today.Efforts from the government and civil society groups have also increased over the years, which might have helped the situation to improve.Government supportIn 2007, then arts and culture minister Pallo Jordan – who was a strong advocate for a move towards publishing South African literature in the country’s indigenous languages – was instrumental in the formation of the South African Book Development Council (SABDC), an organisation whose mission is to promote reading across all ages in the country.Some of the biggest achievements of the council as listed on their website include the creation of the Book Industry Development Plan as well as the Indigenous Language Publishing Programme, which was started to encourage local authors to write in languages besides English and Afrikaans in order to broaden the base of the country’s readers.The SABDC’s survey on reading and reading behaviour (2007) found that reading was the fourth most popular leisure activity after socialising with family, watching TV and listening to music.The research further states that two thirds of the South African population read for leisure, with the majority reading newspapers, which explains why the most likely reason that people read was because it gave them access to knowledge.The SABDC also administrates National Book Week, an annual initiative that occurs in September and highlights, among other issues, the need for reading to take centre stage in the daily lives of young children. This they hope to achieve by making sure that the book sector is part of national policies and priorities.What the future holdsDitshego says he never pitched ReadaBookSA to media outlets in an effort to market it. Whatever feedback the campaign has received for its efforts is testimony to the power of not only social media networks in this day and age, but also good old word-of-mouth marketing.“Now that we have achieved the objectives of our first phase, which was to build a strong following on Twitter, we can go on to the next phase with confidence,” he says.The hard work is far from over, he concedes, saying phase two will involve ReadaBookSA expanding on its awareness drive.“Where the road takes us from there, we’ll just have to wait and see”And since the encouragement from the founder is for everyone to read one book a month, Mediaclub asked Ditshego how he fares in this challenge.“I’m on my third book for this month (May),” he says.Some of the tweets from those encouraged the ReadaBookSA effort:‏@ChantefabulousWhat a reading session I just had … Feel empowered on so many levels rite now —» The power of reading —» @ReadaBookSA‏@Cleo04patraGuys, let’s promote enriching minds and the wonders of books and reading! Follow —–>@ReadaBookSA‏‏@JabuBravo“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” @ReadaBookSA@MSlulubellOfficially starting a #ToReadList thanks 2 @ReadaBookSA… *sigh* so much 2 read. So lil tym‏@PrePre02Today I’m getting another book to read. The only way to sharpen one’s understanding is through reading Cc @ReadaBookSA‏@queenkasmangaI’m following @ReadaBookSA to empower myself!last_img read more

The case for corn price rally potential

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLCThe March corn futures have been range bound for the last 150 days, usually staying within a tight trading range of $3.70 to $3.90. March corn was only above $3.90 for 3 days during that time, and over the last 100 days, March corn has traded below $3.70 for only 3 days.This lack of movement is clearly illustrated in only a 10-cent range for the closing prices of March corn on the last 8 Fridays:1/18 – $3.811/11 – $3.781/4 – $3.8312/28 – $3.7512/21 – $3.7812/14 – $3.8412/7 – $3.8511/30 – $3.78.Current corn fundamentals paint a picture from a macro level that suggests realistic expectations for higher corn price potential. Global position: U.S. corn is the lowest priced corn globally based on prices today. U.S. corn is about 5 cents lower than Argentina and 15 cents below the Ukraine. Upcoming planting acre estimates: Corn needs nearly 3 to 4 million additional acres planted in 2019. Currently the new crop corn/bean ratio is 2.36 : 1. While this should encourage farmers to switch a small number of bean acres to corn, it might not be as much as was assumed was possible two months ago. The wet fall could have prevented some acres from getting the necessary fertilizer or fall field work done when prices were much more favorable to plant corn. Carryout: March corn is trading 30 cents higher today versus a year ago. Last year saw March corn rally 30 cents from this date forward when the carryout was reduced from 2.3 billion at harvest time to 2 billion as the year continued on. Currently the carryout is projected at 1.78 billion and may be reduced to 1.7 billion pending the final yield number from the USDA. Even if the carryout isn’t lowered further this will still be the lowest carryout in 4 years. Demand: Corn demand has been steady the past couple of months. Exports continue to be strong, feed demand has been steady, and the ethanol grind has maybe only slowed a little. There is a good chance all three will offset each other to keep demand the same or maybe even generate a slight increase. Still, until the government can reopen to provide production and usage information, everyone is in the dark.Overall corn has several positive fundamentals going into spring, which could mean good news down the road for farmers. If China would start buying a little corn to offset the trade imbalance, which has been discussed in the trade, the news for farmers could be even better. Does fertilizer buying correlate with corn selling?Several farmers throughout the Midwest asked for my thoughts on selling corn when making fertilizer purchases for their 2019 crop. Evidently these farmers had been approached by fertilizer sales teams trying to show a correlation between corn and fertilizer prices and how they should sell some of their corn when they buy their fertilizer.I don’t have the details of the sales pitch the farmers were given to give any advice there. However, I can look at the effects of purchasing fertilizer on farm operation budgets as well as the correlation between corn and fertilizer prices. Comparing fertilizer and corn prices the same wayIn most years fertilizer prices don’t change more than $100 per ton year over year. While $100 per ton may sound like a lot, the price per acre is low and usually only amounts to about 11 cents per bushel at most on the budget. I calculate all farm operation budgets on a cost per bushel, so prices are comparable to each other (i.e. apples to apples). That small of an effect on the cost of production doesn’t compare to the more than 85-cent range that corn futures had during the last growing year.There are many things that can affect fertilizer prices, here are just a few:Fertilizer production inputs are a major factor. For example, natural gas is the main ingredient in many fertilizers, so big shifts in natural gas prices can change the demand structure. But, there are also substitute fertilizers not containing natural gas that could increase or decrease production to offset big price adjustments.Acre shifts could have an impact, but a change bigger than 5% in either direction is rare. While a 5% shift could send an initial price spike or dip in the short-term, the impact long-term should be minimal.Seasonally fertilizer prices have highs and lows pending demand. Just as there are seasonal trends for corn that would suggest that prices will be the lowest at harvest there seems to be a season pattern to fertilizer that happens when farmers aren’t usually applying the product. Usage correlation between fertilizer and cornThe total tonnage of fertilizer used per acre is 20 to 70 times less than the total tonnage of grain harvested from the same acre, depending on the type of fertilizer applied. So, I don’t see how this would be a relationship between the price of either commodity. The sheer size difference is just too big to be relatable. Plus, in reviewing historical data, I couldn’t find any type of trend to support a price correlation between the two commodities.So no, I wouldn’t adjust my corn marketing strategy to align with my fertilizer purchasing. They are different commodities with separate and independent price fluctuations. Instead, I would just buy fertilizer when it looks like the right price at the time of year it makes sense for my operation. And I don’t see any reason to sell some corn, just because I bought fertilizer on the same day. Please email jon@superiorfeed.com with any questions or to learn more. Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results.last_img read more

Mohit sings for Games at Qutub

first_imgHe came, sang and conquered the hearts. Singer Mohit Chauhan set the stage on fire on Thursday evening at the ongoing Qutub Festival when he crooned soulful numbers from his repertoire – numbers that have successively taken his career notches higher than before.Chauhan, who first shot to fame as the lead vocalist of the erstwhile band, Silk Route, strung together a beautiful evening of songs interspersed with anecdotes from his journey from the verdant mountains of Himachal Pradesh to the maximum city of Mumbai.”It has been a long journey and only I know how I have managed it,” he said before dedicating the first song of the evening to his home state.”This folk song from Devbhumi (referring to Himachal Pradesh) – Oh Lal Chidiye Ne -is close to my heart,” he said. Soon, more well-recognised numbers followed – Kissa Tera, Teri Dastan (Kismat Konnection ), Yeh Dooriyan (Love Aaj Kal ).The singer with a glossy voice, who lived in Delhi for a few years before shifting to Mumbai, recalled an amusing anecdote from his student days.”I was a science student and used to study rocks. When I joined the master’s programme, I didn’t study for six months because I was busy admiring the mountains and composing this song,” he said and hummed few notes of his popular number – Dooba Dooba from the Silk Route’s debut album, Boondein ( 1998).The song got the audience humming and grooving along. Post this number, Chauhan continued with the story of his life’s journey.advertisement”When I was a student, I used to sit on the last bench of the class to be able to admire the mountains,” he said. And then came the songs that the audience was most eagerly waiting for – Masakali (Dilli 6) and Pee Loon (Once Upon A Time in Mumbai) . Chauhan seemed to be in a mood to play with the audience.He said, ” There is a film called Jab We Met that has a song called Masakali ,” and added, “I’ll sing it only on one condition – you’ll have to sing along.” The crowd was more than willing; they happily sang along and jived to the lilting number from Dilli 6 . He had to cut short his story and the soiree due to time constraints but the singer promised to return soon.- The bands Indian Ocean and Euphoria get on stage for the Qutub Festival tonight.last_img read more

CMI Making a Positive Impact on Nearby Communities

first_img The CMI has adopted Port Royal and is building a new basic school in the community. The institution has also offered scholarships to students from Port Royal. The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) is making a positive impact on the growth and development of the communities within its vicinity. Story Highlights The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) is making a positive impact on the growth and development of the communities within its vicinity.This is according to Executive Director of the institution, Dr. Fritz Pinnock, who was speaking in a recent interview with JIS News.“Many can attest to the impact of CMI on the surrounding communities. The institution is now transforming places like Port Royal, Harbour View, Bull Bay and western St. Thomas,” he noted.Dr. Pinnock told JIS News that Port Royal has been transformed into a university town, housing the institution’s residential facility, which has become an economic driver in the once-sleepy fishing village.Admiralty House, part of the Old Naval Dockyard in Port Royal, was transformed into a dedicated student residential facility through a public-private partnership.“A private-sector company came in and refurbished the property to take it up to international standards, and the students pay back for it through their rental,” Dr. Pinnock explained.He noted that the facility has outgrown its 168-student capacity, and the CMI is looking to identify space to add another 300 to 400 rooms.Dr. Pinnock argued that the Admiralty House housing project, plus the establishment of a campus in the community for training in customs and immigration management, has significantly contributed to the economic sustainability of Port Royal.He noted that the campus brings 600-800 students per day to the community, with each of them spending $500 to $1,000 daily.“That is sustainable development and a real investment in the town,” he added.The CMI has adopted Port Royal and is building a new basic school in the community. The institution has also offered scholarships to students from Port Royal.Dr. Pinnock said that the Harbour View and Bull Bay communities have also benefited significantly from the growth of CMI, by providing rentals to students. “That’s a market that persons have capitalised on. Return on investment in a Harbour View house has improved,” he said.He recommends that it would be smart to invest in Harbour View, noting that persons who have done so are doing well.“We have thousands of students renting homes… . We also have to rent homes for some of our overseas lecturers, so it’s a big demand,” he pointed out. Admiralty House, part of the Old Naval Dockyard in Port Royal, was transformed into a dedicated student residential facility through a public-private partnership. last_img read more

Tuscaloosa Countys legislative leaders gathered i

first_imgTuscaloosa County’s legislative leaders gathered in the Druid City to talk about the state of our state on July 10.Eight state lawmakers were on the panel, tackling questions regarding healthcare, prison reform, the Rebuild Alabama plan and more. Jim Paige, president of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, said the Chamber is an advocate for the Rebuild Alabama plan.The plan aims to invest in the state’s transportation infrastructure and bring significant economic opportunities to the state. Lawmakers told the crowd they were pleased with the number of bills passed in the past legislative session and it will make a huge impact on the state.“I thought the session went very well,” Rep. Rodney Sullivan, R-Tuscaloosa, said. “This was my first; it was very busy, accomplished a lot of good things in my opinion. I think that a lot bills that came out this session are going to benefit the people not only in Tuscaloosa County, but the state of Alabama as a whole. I’m impressed to see these things start rolling out.”The panel also talked about the possible special session being called by the governor this fall or in January of 2020.last_img read more