The Oceana Group commends the stellar performance of the young siblings from Cape Town who scooped not one, but two top prizes at the inaugural Agristars Recognition Awards hosted by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (“DAFF”) on 30 June 2016.

Natasha (36) and Kurt Diest (30) from Impala Fishing in Cape Town won the award for Excellence in Fisheries which was sponsored by Oceana Group, as well as the Overall Inspirational Young Producer award, netting themselves R150 000 in total at the awards ceremony held at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria on 30 June 2016.

Oceana is a proud sponsor of the Agristars Recognition Awards and contributed R50 000 towards the Fisheries prize , in doing so acknowledged the vital role that the youth play in securing South Africa’s agricultural future. As South Africa’s largest fishing group and the most empowered listed company, Oceana is committed to sustainable development of enterprise and entrepreneurial initiatives throughout Southern Africa.

The dynamic duo are looking to reinvest the funds into growing their business have expressed great joy over their unexpected winnings.

“We applaud DAFF and corporates like Oceana, for acknowledging youth involvement in the fishing industry as well as encouraging youth development. We were stunned at winning the awards but also happy and honoured that these opportunities are granted to us. We are the third generation working in this company and are thankful for the guidance, support, and mentorship that we have received from our grandparents and parents. This is a family business with my mother as the Managing Director and that means great teamwork despite different opinions. “

Oceana CEO Francois Kuttel remarks, “Although the competition was tight, I believe that Natasha and Kurt truly deserve their awards and recognition for their achievements. They are a third generation fishing family who have grown Impala Fishing into a fully-fledged, black empowered company that directly employs forty staff and has created a further five permanent employment positions in disadvantaged areas through their retail outlets. These types of youth-directed businesses set an example for their peers and unlock the economic potential of our oceans for the benefit of their own and wider Southern African communities.”

The Agristars Recognition Awards was conceived by DAFF’s Deputy Minster General Bheki Cele as part of the department’s strategy to develop young produces and entrepreneurs and to encourage active participation of youth in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors.

“DAFF has been instrumental in supporting the youth by showing confidence and commitment to their future and in helping them to develop the skills necessary to make a successful business in agriculture, forestry and fishing” remarks Kuttel. “We feel privileged to be of support to DAFF in promoting the participation of the youth in fishing as it aligns closely with Oceana’s core objective which is to convert our fishing rights and business expertise into sustainable societal value that can be shared among all South Africans.”