One of the largest employers in Ceres pays staff earlier
Ceres Fruit Growers (CFG) has changed a near 100-year old practice to benefit its staff.
According to Ceres Fruit Growers (CFG), one of the largest employers in the Ceres region, the lessons learned while coping with the COVID-19 pandemic have continued to pay dividend.
Ceres Fruit Growers’ Human Resources Manager, Christo Janse van Rensburg, says that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a greater sense of community.
“We have been fortunate to recently conclude collective agreements with the union which we believe is to the benefit of the employees and to the company. We are grateful to be able to continue to focus on the task at hand having concluded negotiations,” he says.
According to Francois Malan, CFG Managing Director, it seems there is a greater maturity and flexibility to all the relationships both within the business and with other role players like the Departments of Health and Employment and Labour.
“We are communicating more effectively about aspects at play including global events which continue to have a punitive impact on the returns back to our producers. We also made a small change that has had a big impact. In a first in our almost 100-year history we changed the day we pay workers,” Malan says.
CFG weekly-paid staff now receive remuneration on a Thursday rather than a Friday. “This has had a tremendous benefit on the health and wellbeing of our team who no longer have to queue at bank-machines and in supermarket check-out counters as most other workers in the Ceres area are paid on a Friday. And, we have noticed that our employees work more effectively on a Friday, not having to worry about waiting in a long queue later on. We have also staggered lunch and tea-break times to avoid congestion.
Our efforts to bring the Department of Employment and Labour to our premises to handle UIF and other claims has also greatly benefited our staff,” says Janse van Rensburg.
Malan says the company is in the process of registering as a chronic-medication provider which will mean staff on chronic medication will be able to collect their monthly prescription from CFG directly and not have to queue at local hospitals or government clinics.
Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing is responsible for selling the fruit from CFG and from Two-a-Day in the greater Grabouw Valley. Tru-Cape Managing Director, Roelf Pienaar, says that people-centric policies and innovative business practices are as important to the people who work for CFG as they are for the customers who purchase the fruit who want to know how well they care for staff. “It is good to know that a company with a near 100-year history can still be agile and quickly change to benefit all,” ends Pienaar.