OUR COMMITMENT TO TRANSFORMATION
Transformation is a process initiated at the dawn of democracy in 1994 in South Africa to address the inequalities that resulted from the country’s past. As one of the largest black-owned companies in the South African fishing sector, one of the Group’s primary drivers is to continually improve on its transformation targets and, more importantly, to play an active role in empowering marginalised and disadvantaged groups and individuals. This is evidenced by the fact that Sea Harvest has moved from a Level 4 Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) company in 2005 to a Level 1 company with a more than 90% black ownership at present and an overall B-BBEE score of 102.21 on the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) generic B-BBEE scorecard.
The Group’s dedication to a holistic 20-year transformation journey culminated in Sea Harvest being named the Most Empowered fishing and food company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in a special report about the empowerment credentials of JSE-listed companies, which was published by a South African media house in partnership with independent rating and research companies in November 2018.
TRANSFORMING THE SA FISHING INDUSTRY
Facilitating the transformation of the fishing industry has been an imperative for Sea Harvest since the advent of democracy in South Africa. In 1998, black-owned and managed Brimstone Investment Corporation (“Brimstone”) invested in Sea Harvest for the first time and eventually led a black consortium in buying out Tiger Brands’ majority shareholding in 2009. Brimstone gradually increased its shareholding to establish the c. 90% black-owned company that Sea Harvest is today. Other initiatives that have allowed Sea Harvest to boost transformation include the formation of Employee Share Trusts, which terminated in 2022 and allowed employees to own a share in the company, thereby allowing the circle of benefit to include its staff. Sea Harvest has also made further strides in its transformation ambitions by implementing management development programmes for high-performing employees from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.
In 2018, in order to fast-track transformation within the broader fishing industry, Sea Harvest led a black consortium in the purchase of the majority white-owned Viking Fishing Group (Viking), contributing to the establishment and furtherance of sizeable operational black industrialists and new black entrants into the fishing industry. The assets acquired as part of the transaction are situated across various locations in South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique and comprise of fishing rights, vessels, fish processing facilities, aquaculture farms (including the biological assets) and working capital. Together with its BEE partners, the company believes the acquisition will promote inclusive economic growth and participation through access, diversity, empowerment and transformation in the fishing industry and the greater South African economy.
In 2018, Sea Harvest co-founded the South African Fisheries Development Fund to support small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in the small-scale fishing sector. Through the Fund it provides marketing assistance, vessels and assets, management expertise, training and mentoring, and processing of fish to promote enterprise development. The primary objective of the Fund is to transform the fishing industry from the ground up by assisting smaller quota holders and small-scale fishers in catching their quotas, processing their catch, and accessing markets. For more information on the Fund and its activities go to https://fisheriesfund.co.za/en/.
As part of the company’s commitment to support the development of SMMEs outside the fishing industry, Sea Harvest was instrumental in the creation of the West Coast Business Development Centre (WCBDC) more than 20 years ago. The Centre provides business advice, coaching and mentoring, as well as other services, such as business registration, to assist developing entrepreneurs in achieving their dreams and sustained business growth.
As a result of Sea Harvest’s procurement policies, the Group spends about R1 billion on procuring goods and services from majority black-owned businesses annually, while c. R500 million is spent procuring goods and services from SMMEs, mainly in the rural communities in which we operate during the same year. Today, there are many examples of small businesses that have experienced dramatic growth because of the continued work that they do with Sea Harvest.
CORPORATE SOCIAL INVESTMENT
Sea Harvest, through its not-for-profit company and registered public benefit organisation, the Sea Harvest Foundation NPC, is committed to sharing its wealth with the communities in which it operates. The Group believes that the quality of its stakeholder relationships can be attributed to a willingness to engage openly and honestly, as well as understand and respond to stakeholders’ expectations
Since its inception, the Foundation has supported socio-economic development activities that assist beneficiaries to secure sustainable livelihoods, providing them with opportunities to meaningfully participate in the local and mainstream economy, and eliminate social ills. Post 2016, we have spread our focus to early childhood development; healthcare; education; as well as youth and community development.
EDUCATION & YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
The Foundation aims to empower and support youth by assisting schools, youth development organisations and sports clubs in the communities in which we operate. There is also a sharp focus on empowering the youth to become economically active, create sustainable livelihoods and become respectable members of society.