Senwes Scenario June / July 2017 - Page 8

•••• NEW S The role of agri-businesses in a changing agricultural environment AFTER THE EXCELLENT AGRI-BUSINESSES: WHERE ARE WE HEADING? ARTICLE BY SENWES CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, FRANCOIS STRYDOM, WHICH APPEARED IN THE FARMERS’ WEEKLY IN MAY 2017, WE CONTINUED THE DISCUSSION WITH FRANCOIS, WITH THE NECESSARY PERMISSION. WE TALKED ABOUT THE CHANGING AGRICULTURAL ENVIRONMENT, THE ROLE OF LEADERSHIP AND THE VISION AND STRATEGY REQUIRED. AUBREY KRUGER THE CHANGING AGRICULTURAL ENVIRONMENT To start with. When the agri­ cultural environment changed, certain businesses stayed in the hands of members while others cast the net wider and expanded the value chain. Where does this leave the prodcer, what is the role of agri-businesses and in whose interest do they act? In reality it goes about the place and the purpose of an 6 agri-business and where it fits in. This role has to be rediscovered continuously. In my opinion the global business sector lost direction in the nineties, when it was said that everything should be about the shareholder. Shareholders are secondary. It goes about the customer, staff, input suppliers and the community first. Once everything works well, the shareholder will be remunerated. The most important aspect is that there should be a balance between all of the above. THE ROLE OF LEADERSHIP The role of leadership is to bring contentious issues to the fore. A leader may never choose to talk about safe subjects only. The contentious issues have to be dis­ cussed as well to ensure that you can be definitive. The definition of leadership goes about the role of leaders in taking their organisations and companies to places where they don't really want to go. However, at a later stage they are grate­ ful that they did go there. This remains a good summary of lead­ ership. This can be only be done through good leadership. A leader reaches this level through hard work and intense reflection. He has to look far ahead and does not merely follow daily plans, but pur­ JU