The Midlands Mushrooms Farms Project
The Midlands Mushrooms Farms Project' is a project which has been spear-headed by the EDULIS FOOD GROUP, along with other major South African corporations. A model has been devised through which tangible and sustainable Black Economic Empowerment (B.E.E), ownership and wealth creation can be achieved in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
- EDULIS FOOD GROUP
- Mondi Limited
- Equity Africa
- Deloitte and Touche Tohmatsu
THE EDULIS FOOD GROUP
Mediolanum Investments Limited through its various wholly owned subsidiaries, collectively forming the EDULIS FOOD GROUP have operated as a harvester, processor and exporter of wild mushrooms in the Southern African region since 1974, during which period it has gained invaluable experience in the sustainable and extremely profitable wild mushroom packing and processing operations on a global basis.
The EDULIS FOOD GROUP has established and maintains successful operations, of a similar nature to the one being set up in the Midlands in other parts of South Africa, as well as other African States namely Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Malawi and is furthermore involved in joint ventures in East Europe as well as having subsidiaries in the USA, Switzerland and Italy.
The marketing and distribution infrastructure of the EDULIS FOOD GROUP as a whole will be at the full disposal of the Midlands project, in order to maximise the ability of same to successfully and profitably operate its business.
The EDULIS FOOD GROUP will further guarantee a complete “off take” of all production emanating out of the revenue obtained by the EDULIS FOOD GROUP, on the overseas market. Midlands project, as well as the passing on to the Midlands project the maximum achievable
Mondi Limited is one of the largest forestry and paper producing companies on the continent and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anglo American Corporation.
Mondi has guaranteed the exclusive harvesting rights to the Midlands project in all of its forests situate in the Richmond, Greytown and Drakensberg North area’s, totalling approximately 60 000 (sixty thousand) hectors of forest, for a fixed ten (10) year period, with an option to renew upon the expiry thereof.
The aforesaid harvesting rights have been awarded to the Midlands project on an extremely advantageous condition to the Midlands, thus ensuring a guaranteed source of the raw material to the Midlands project.
In addition to the above concessions, the Midlands project currently enjoys the harvesting rights to all the SAPPI forests in the Midlands and Greytown areas.
Zimele is the vehicle with which the Anglo American Corporation actively assists previously disadvantaged individuals and entrepreneurs to develop sustainable businesses with a view to transferring wealth and skills to such previously disadvantaged communities.
In addition to providing substantial capital funding, Zimele are committed to add value to the Midlands project through the post investment support process by way of sharing their now how and the transfer of their unlimited skills.
Equity Africa is an empowerment fund management company born out of a partnership between ABSA bank and Shanti Industries Holdings (Pty) Ltd, which empowerment fund management company specialises in facilitating Black Economic Empowerment participation in business;
Equity Africa participates in the establishment and operation of the empowerment investment through delivering added value through its active management capabilities. The Midlands project will benefit by their ability to mobilise and implement business development recourses (development capital and technical assistance funding);
Acting under the instructions of the Midlands Board of Directors, should these services be used, Equity Africa will use its best endeavours to:
- Identify and negotiate the most appropriate sources of debt funding to capitalise the empowerment investment;
- Identify and negotiate with a range of development agencies to secure funding to offset the costs of training and empowerment development;
- Provide a range of business development services to Midlands and assist it to raise capital, where necessary, to offset the costs of such service;
- Identify and negotiate with a range of development agencies to secure technical assistance funding where appropriate;
- Provide management oversight of service providers, working specifically with Deloitte and Touche Tohmatsu in the formation of establishment of the empowerment employee trust and the intended entrepreneur investor and securing LRAD grants from the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Land Affairs;
- Ensure Corporate Governance compliance services to the empowerment project to ensure the ethical and proper operation of the empowerment project; and
- Provide ad hoc strategic management support where necessary.
DELOITTE AND TOUCHE TOHMATSU
Deloitte and Touche Thomatsu is a globally well known accounting and consulting institution, which has added its outstanding expertise with respect to structuring the Empowerment Employee Trust of the Midlands project and which will be financed by the Land Redistribution and Agricultural Development grant (LRAD).
It must be noted that 20% (twenty per centum) of the equity in the Midlands project will be subscribed by the Empowerment Employee Trust, which trust will be made up of historically disadvantaged members of the communities situate in the Midlands and who will be the direct beneficiaries of the proceeds generated by such equity.
Deloitte’s has entered into advanced negotiations with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Land Affairs, who will be participating in the funding of the Empowerment Employee Trust.