Exciting news in local sugarcane farming! After a big final, where judges were “blown away by the extremely high standard of finalists,”  Richmond sugarcane farmer, Brad O’Neil, has taken the title of KZN Kwanalu  Young Farmer of the Year 2021. Brad’s victory is made sweeter by the fact that he has been chosen to be a Huletts partner.

The victory means O’Neil will go on to represent KZN in the national competition, where he will face contestants from all 9 provinces for the prestigious title.

An 11-year story

As the second generation to serve as custodian of Seafield Farm in Richmond, Brad has focused his tenure on introducing sustainable practices and maintaining strong relationships with his staff by helping them improve their living conditions, secure family insurance policies and further their education and training. Since taking over in 2010, Brad has wanted Seafield to become known for their precise farming methods and overall holistic practices. With a background in wine-making, O’Neil has also started Sugar Baron Craft Distillery, which aims to become a leading producer of high quality rum made from the best sugarcane in the world.

Stories like Brad’s give us more reason to celebrate our nation’s rich sugarcane heritage. The possibility that 2021’s National Farmer of the Year could be a sugarcane farmer, speaks to the significance of the crop and the high standard of sugar production in our country. Not only has sugar been an important theme throughout South Africa’s history, the “strategic crop” continues to be an important driver of economic growth, community development and the survival of countless South Africans.

As proud South African users of Sugar, you are supporting South African farming communities and giving opportunities to farmers who provide employment and inspiration to locals. These are exceptional farmers who pioneer sustainable and innovative practices within their industries.

As a business born and bred in the communities of South Africa, Huletts is a proud supporter of South African communities and their stories. Read about how we are #GrowingASweetFuture for all South Africans: https://bluecrystalsukiri.co.bw/growing-a-sweet-future/