A need to combine fynbos-forces?

A new study set in the Agulhas Plain region will assess the need for fynbos harvesters to meet regularly through a forum to share industry-related information. The study is being undertaken by the University of Otago, in conjunction with the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI).

Masterís student Thijs Blokker from the New Zealand university will meet with fynbos suppliers to better understand the challenges facing the industry, and the need to address these as a unit. The wild fynbos industry has until fairly recently not had a body to represent them. About two years ago the Protea Producers of South Africa (PPSA) changed its mandate to represent both wild and cultivated fynbos producers. To date, only five wild harvesters have joined the PPSA.

Despite this, fynbos harvesters face a number of common issues, such as encroaching invasive alien plants, which threaten the economic and biodiversity value of fynbos lands. Other industry factors include changing environmental legislation and changing labour laws.

Blokker (23) aims to meet fynbos suppliers across the region to compile information on these challenges and how best to work together in the industry. All information will be dealt with anonymously.

For more information on the study, and for those wishing to participate, please contact Thijs on email: bloth481@student.otago.ac.nz.

thijs blokker

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