Bittersweet and multitalented
When you observe the two of them between the straight rows of their grapefruit trees, it’s clear how important their work is to them. They joke with the pickers, who have worked for them for years – some of them year-round, some of them seasonally. Time and again, the Gumedes pick a fruit off a tree, sniff its peel, test its taste. “We eat at least one grapefruit every day,” Smangele Gumede answers when asked whether she still likes the fruit. It’s important to her that she identifies with her work and the farm. “Business is going well, demand is rising. That makes us very happy.”
Sowing the seeds
Earning a living through agriculture is a tough job in many parts of the world. This is one of the reasons why young people all over the world are often not willing to take over their parents’ farms. They frequently move to the cities and towns looking for other jobs. This is particularly a big problem in less developed economies; the population disappears from the small agricultural villages, and with it the expertise that is transmitted from one generation to the next. In the past few years, development in the agricultural sector has intensified, which is why so many programs for attracting new young workers were started. Heinrich Schaper, President Flavor, explains the importance of this commitment: “In value chains, where Symrise can make a significant difference we are deploying our efforts to support knowledge transfer between the generations. This allows us to create new opportunities for agriculture, which brings us access to natural, high-quality products.” In addition to the planned academy in the grapefruit province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa additional initiatives in Madagascar, Brazil, India and the Philippines illustrate this.