1 Notski Africa Trading, Box 32158, Fichardt Park, 9317, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
2 Centre for Environmental Management, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein,
South Africa. www.ufs.ac.za/cem Email firstname.lastname@example.org
A successful agri-business is dependant on favourable environmental conditions. In this regard environmental management adds value through the whole value chain up to the consumer and even beyond with the discarding of waste. The value chain of agriculture starts with the producer/farmer and ends with the consumer. This paper focuses on the fresh produce markets as part of the value chain in agriculture. The fresh produce markets serve as a marketing platform for producers of fresh vegetables and fruit to wholesalers and the public. Marketing is an integral part of any successful business, thus the impact of the fresh produce market in the agricultural value chain cannot be overstated.
A participatory approach was followed with the introduction of the environmental management system in the fresh produce market in Bloemfontein, South Africa, where employees from the market where contracted to serve on an EMS team. Notski Africa Trading, the appointed consultant, guided the EMS team through the whole development of the environmental management system. Care was taken to involve as many of the employees as possible in the EMS team and as promoters of the EMS. The benefit of this participatory approach was a total buy-in and commitment from the fresh produce market. The ISO requires that organizations maximize participation of producers and consumers. Therefore, the producers and the customers of the fresh produce market will eventually be included in their environmental management system. The fresh produce market in this regard facilitates the introduction of the producers of fresh fruit and vegetables to environmental management. The commitment from the fresh produce market will ensure that the environmental management system is reviewed and maintained on a regular basis. By giving the employees control over the development process of the environmental management system, they regard the system as their own and as their responsibility.