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Woolies boost for organic farming

first_img10 January 2008South African clothing and food retailer Woolworths’ efforts to establish a local source for organic fibre for their clothing has been given a major boost, with the country’s first commercial scale trial crop of organic cotton being planted this summer.Woolworths said in a statement this week that they have, together with the ComMark Trust, Cotton South Africa and the Organic Exchange, set up a pilot programme in which a number of farms in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo provinces are growing organic cotton, under direction of the Agricultural Research Council’s Institute for Industrial Crops.The ComMark Trust has committed in the region of R1-million to assist farmers with start-up costs, while the Organic Exchange will be providing technical support for farmers.For its part, Woolworths has committed itself to supporting local farmers by buying the 30 tons of organic cotton expected to harvested by May this year.“Woolworths is committed not only to promoting the use of organic cotton, but – and perhaps even more importantly – to fostering the growth of a local organic cotton industry,” said Woolworths group head of design, sourcing and technology Darren Todd.“We firmly believe that South Africa offers tremendous potential for growing organic cotton and have been working very closely with the Organic Exchange and local organisations, including Cotton SA and the Agricultural Research Council, for some time now.”According to the Organic Exchange, an international organisation dedicated to expanding global supplies of organic cotton, conventionally grown cotton consumes approximately 25% of the insecticides and over 10% of the pesticides used in the world. Organic cotton, on the other hand, is produced using only natural fertilisers, pesticides and phosphates, making it much healthier for the environment and safer for farm workers.“The growing awareness among consumers of these advantages has sparked a worldwide move towards organic cotton,” Woolworths said.At the annual Organic Exchange Conference in Montrey, California In November, Woolworths announced that they had become the world’s third-largest consumer of organic cotton, since introducing South Africa’s first clothing range made from 100% organic cotton in 2004. They are behind only two giant American corporations, discount department chain Wal-Mart and sportswear manufacturer Nike.“Woolworths used 1.8-million kilograms of organic fibre in 2007 and 2.2-million kilograms is projected to be used in 2008,” Woolworths said.However, all the organic cotton they currently use comes from outside South Africa – mainly from Uganda and India – a situation that the company is aiming to change through such initiatives.Developing a new industryThe initiative is in line with Woolworths’ Good Business Journey strategy, which addresses the issue of sustainable growth within the context of changing social and environmental challenges facing both South Africa and the planet.Included in the plan is the intention to accelerate efforts to reduce the environmental impact of products and processes by introducing more textile items made with sustainable fibres such as organic cotton, organic wool, bamboo, hemp, recycled polyester and soya, with the goal of increasing sales of organic-content clothing to more than R1-billion per year, a target the company is confident it will achieve by 2010.“We are encouraged by the enthusiasm that is being shown by the farmers who are taking part in the trial and look forward to expanding local production in the future,” Todd said.He added that the company was particularly excited by the prospects that organic cotton offers, not only as a rotational crop for Woolworths’ organic produce farmers, but also as a means for empowering South Africa’s previously disadvantaged small-scale farmers.“Globally there is a huge demand for organic cotton,” Woolworths said. “Through this project, Woolworths will aim to facilitate market access so that farmers will, in due course, have access and opportunity to supply organic cotton at a global level.”“As consumers are becoming more ‘green aware’, companies around the world are using organic cotton and other organic fibres to step more lightly on the planet,” said Organic Exchange programme director Rebecca Calahan Klein. “Organic fibre production must continue to increase at a rate of 40% per year to meet projected demand.“We commend Woolworths for taking a leadership role in South Africa, and are pleased to be playing a role in the birth of South Africa’s own organic cotton pipeline.”SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Broadband doubles as SA shifts to mobile

first_img14 December 2012Broadband access in South Africa more than doubled in the last two years as mobile operators slashed the cost of data and network roll-outs accelerated, according to researchers World Wide Worx.According to the final version of the Internet Access in South Africa 2012 study, released last week, the number of broadband subscriptions in the country grew by 128% from 3.6-million at the end of 2010 to 8.2-million by the end of 2012.Over the same period, the number of individual broadband users more than doubled, growing by 140% from 2.8-million to 6.7-million.The study, conducted by World Wide Worx with the backing of the howzit MSN online portal, shows that many users have multiple forms of broadband access – such as an ADSL account as well as 3G – while many hop between operators to take advantage of promotional offers.‘Shift in way South Africans consume content’“The migration from fixed line to mobile represents a profound shift in the way South Africans consume content,” howzit MSN executive producer Justin Zehmke said in a statement.“The 9-5 internet peak, along with the traditional desktop publishing and advertising model that has become the South African standard, will become increasingly irrelevant.“Coupled with the availability of cheaper mobile devices, this presents an opportunity for smaller publishing and tech companies to enter a market traditionally dominated by a few major players.”Zehmke’s view is backed up by World Wide Worx’s finding that the total number of fixed line broadband subscriptions is now outnumbered 8 to 1 by mobile broadband subscriptions. Telkom’s ADSL service now holds just 10.6% of the broadband subscriber market in South Africa.‘Demographic of SA internet user shifting’Measured by subscriptions, South Africa now has an apparent 15.8% broadband penetration of the population. However, due to extensive multiple-use of broadband subscriptions, especially thanks to the falling cost of data and the proliferation of promotional offers, the number of individuals using broadband subscriptions represents only 11% penetration of the population.“This may seem small, but it is still light years ahead of where we were five years ago,” said World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck. “It suggests that, five years from now, mobile broadband and smartphones will be the conventional means of access, rather than fixed line, which will increasingly be confined to small business.”Zehmke added that high speeds, lower rates and ease of access also meant that the demographic of the South African internet user base was shifting significantly, once again creating space for new content and business models.“The trends presented in this survey suggest that we will see a major shift in the type of content supplied and consumed, with mobile apps and services at the top of the industry’s priority list.”The impact, Zehmke believes, will be highly positive for the content industry.“The search for viable digital business models will lay the foundation for a culture of innovation in technology and publishing, creating choice and variety for the consumer. As the audience matures and continues to grow, we are set for a reinvention of the South African digital industry.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

South Africa to host next Cites conference

first_img24 June 2014Johannesburg, the economic heart of South Africa, has been named as the host of the next wildlife conference of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or Cites.The 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) will take place from 24 September to 5 October 2016.Cites secretary-general John E Scanlon said South Africa was a highly appropriate location for the CoP because of the frontline wildlife challenges the country faced.Inspiration and history“Africa is home to a vast array of Cites-listed species and South Africa is globally recognised for the Big Five,” he explained. “Holding the CoP in such surroundings should inspire all delegates. Cites parties and observers look forward to meeting in South Africa in 2016 for the world wildlife conference.”He also noted that South Africa was one of the first countries to join Cites after it came into effect in 1975 and since then the country had been active in the work needed.Botswana, Zimbabwe and Kenya have all hosted the conference previously.Cites is a global treaty between 181 member states. Its mandate is to ensure that trade of wild animals and plants does not threaten the species’ survival.Cites regulates international trade in over 35 000 species of plants and animals, including their products and derivatives, ensuring their survival in the wild with benefits for the livelihoods of local people and the global environment, according to the organisation. “The Cites permit system seeks to ensure that international trade in listed species is sustainable, legal and traceable,” it says.Poaching on the riseThere has been an increase in elephant and rhino poaching, which are killed or maimed for their tusks and horns in South Africa. According to government figures, 393 rhinos were killed by poachers between January and April this year, an increase of 18% over the same period a year previously.Glad to have youEnvironmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said: “We look forward to welcoming Cites parties and observers to our beautiful country.” She encouraged delegates to experience and embrace the country’s biodiversity, culture, and historic heritage.Molewa also urged delegates to use the opportunity to engage in robust discussions and come up with resolutions that will take forward the work already under way regarding the trade in flora and fauna.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Ref faces hearing after kicking player

first_imgVideos Diego Carlos kick referee suspended until further notice Harry West Last updated 1 year ago 19:36 1/15/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Videos Nantes v PSG PSG Nantes Ligue 1 The referee who kicked out at and then sent off Nantes’ Diego Carlos has been taken off his next game and will face a disciplinary hearing. The French Football Federation (FFF) has announced that referee Tony Chapron has been suspended until further notice and will face a disciplinary hearing after kicking out at and then sending off Nantes defender Diego Carlos.With time running out in the game and Nantes trailing 1-0 at home to Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain, Chapron was involved in a bizarre moment with centre-back Diego Carlos. The defender inadvertently tripped the official up while trying to cover a break, yet the referee took exception to this action and seemed to kick out at him before sending him off and awarding PSG a free-kick. Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Have you ever seen a referee kick a player AND then send him off?!You have now!!! pic.twitter.com/YSN2p8WVsr— Goal USA (@GoalUSA) January 14, 2018It led to an outcry from the home team, who branded the incident “absurd” and called for the booking to be quashed.Chapron, meanwhile, has been suspended indefinitely by the FFF, which has taken the experienced official off the midweek match between Angers and Troyes, which he was scheduled to oversee. Furthermore, he will stand in front of the League (LFP’s) Disciplinary Commission, having admitted that after looking at the video replays of the incident that he believes he was not tripped intentionally.last_img read more

Principals Urged to Stick to School Support Contribution Policy

first_imgStory Highlights The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information is reminding secondary-school principals to adhere to the school support contribution policy in the 2017/18 academic year. The policy stipulates that contribution from parents cannot be made mandatory and must not be a requirement for registration, school access, graduation, examination slips, application to sixth form or access to any public service at a public education institution. center_img The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information is reminding secondary-school principals to adhere to the school support contribution policy in the 2017/18 academic year.Under the policy, implemented in 2016, the Government abolished the payment of auxiliary fees, and increased the funding to the high schools from $2.6 billion to $5.3 billion.For the upcoming academic year, the allocation will be further increased to $7.2 billion.The policy stipulates that contribution from parents cannot be made mandatory and must not be a requirement for registration, school access, graduation, examination slips, application to sixth form or access to any public service at a public education institution.In addition, no more than $5,000 is allowed to be charged for registration packages for new students.Schools must ensure that discussions are held with parent-teacher associations as it relates to the contribution amount being requested from parents.This amount must be approved by the Ministry, and parents must not be forced to pay any contribution.Meanwhile, the Ministry will begin disbursement of funds for 2017/2018 starting June, in order to ensure that institutions can make adequate preparations for the opening of school.The second disbursement will be made in September, the third in December, and the final payout in April 2018.last_img read more

Gun control debate intensifies with possibility of arming school teachers

first_img KUSI Newsroom The debate on gun control has been intensifying across the nation following the deadly shooting in Florida last week.Now, President Trump and others are calling for teachers to be armed with weapons at schools for added protection.KUSI was joined by Chris Holmberg, a teacher from the Poway Unified School District. KUSI Newsroom, Posted: February 23, 2018 February 23, 2018 Gun control debate intensifies with possibility of arming school teachers Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img

Clashes air strikes kill 52 IS militants in Iraq

first_imgIn Iraq’s western province of Anbar, hundreds of soldiers, police officers, Shia and Sunni militias launched an operation in the militant-seized town of al-Baghdadi, some 200 km northwest of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.They retook control of part of the town, including its main police headquarters, after heavy clashes with the IS militants, Xinhua cited a provincial security source as saying. The clashes left more than 20 militants killed, the source said without giving details about the casualties of the security members. Also Read – Pro-Govt supporters rally as Hong Kong’s divisions deepenThe security forces repelled an IS attack on a neighbourhood adjacent to al-Baghdadi, which was the scene of fierce clashes two days ago, leaving at least four IS fighters killed, including two suicide bombers, the source added.On Saturday, the security forces broke the siege of the neighbourhood which is housing some 1,000 families of security personnel and government-backed Sahwa paramilitary group members. They have been trapped for about 10 days and the families have suffered from acute shortage in food and drinking water. Separately, US and partner-nation warplanes conducted air strikes on IS positions near a bridge outside the militant-seized city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, killing at least five militants and wounding seven others. Also Read – Pak Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanElsewhere, warplanes of the US-led coalition on late Sunday night hit an IS convoy outside a village near the town of Daqouq, some 40 km south of Iraq’s northern city of Kirkuk, destroying two vehicles and killing some 18 militants aboard, a security source said.In Iraq’s northern central province of Salahudin, heavy clashes erupted near the town of Is’haqi, some 90 km north of Baghdad, between the security forces and dozens of IS militants who attacked a military base, leaving at least five extremist militants killed.The security situation in Iraq has drastically deteriorated since June 10 last year, when bloody clashes broke out between Iraqi security forces and the IS, an Al Qaeda offshoot.last_img read more