A commitment to traditional values and innovative agri solutions have over the years transformed BKB Limited into a household name and a fully-fledged company with shareholders.
Today, as the recognizable Home of Agriculture… we pride ourselves in not only having secured the widest footprint across our country, but also the deepest. We offer a dedicated team of professionals and advisors across various levels of business, understanding what you need, when you need it.
At our core we believe that people are our greatest asset, are treated with dignity, encouraged to grow and rewarded for exceptional performance. Our shared value, that service excellence is not negotiable, motivates us to go the extra mile, while we continue to encourage entrepreneurial spirit and constant renewal. In understanding the impact we have on Mother Nature, we are committed to rethink.revive and to conduct our business in an environmentally friendly manner.
In all, BKB is profit driven in the interest of our stakeholders with a major stake held by primary producers and agricultural groupings.
Whether for the production of Wool, Mohair, Livestock or Grain, BKB’s comprehensive services and skilled technical field advisors will ensure peace of mind every step of the way.
From the start we set high standards through BKB Properties’ team of qualified real estate agents who understand the demands associated with the purchasing and marketing of agricultural land in relation to farming conditions.
We invite you to benefit from a rewarding relationship with BKB Agrifin, a trustworthy financial partner for your ever-changing and growing agri-business. Our network of one-stop BKB Trading stores is proudly considered the most representative trading organisation in South Africa, offering a comprehensive range of agri, farmyard and general products coupled with convenience, variety and service.
Covering the whole of South Africa, BKB also guarantees countrywide access to high quality auctioneering services through BKB’s Livestock and Auctioneering division with an offering that includes specialised auctions, internet sales and out of hand transactions.
Through these services it is no secret that BKB puts a great deal of effort into strengthening a mutually beneficial alliance with you on a daily basis. Throughout the process, we also aim to provide an effective service through highly skilled and knowledgeable BKB Technical and Shearing advisors. As the market leader in sustainable small stock farming, and while the welfare of wool & mohair growers remains one of our prime objectives, our BKB Fibre Trading division’s state of the art pressing and shipping facilities ensure an effective and timeous handling and shipping function to complement a professional offering to international wool buyers.
By raising the bar we reach further afield with BKBPlus, an active target orientated Fibre Marketing and Risk Management Programme, giving you a pro-active and customer oriented approach to marketing South African Merino around the globe.
For your benefit we strategically join forces to ensure continued service to the producer through BKB Grainco – giving you steady support through the supply of a comprehensive grain marketing service and supply chain management, including BKB Grain Storage, BKB Logistics and Gritco.
Enabling you to reach beyond your borders, BKB Property Leasing is an added service offering you prime commercial sites to further your business potential. From established to emerging, BKB is with you.
And, as we embrace the future of this industry we remain a company that respects its traditions, but shows that it has room for growth. We welcome change and remain hospitable, professional and knowledgeable as we actively strive to find better ways to achieve greater success for you, the producer.
It makes sense to place your trust in us. Together we’ll make it happen.
THE HOME OF AGRICULTURE
Wolf Edmayr, Besturende Direkteur / Managing Director
BKB is a significant player within the agricultural industry in South Africa and is reputed to be a preferred employer with a staff complement of 3,823 employees, of which 1,408 are permanent and 2,415 are seasonal and learners. BKB prides itself as a high performing organisation that puts its people first. We have sophisticated, best practice processes that act as enablers to all of our people, empowering each individual to grow within the organization.
We believe that our focus on employee training and satisfaction will allow us to continue to attract and retain a high quality workforce, reduce employee turnover, improve our customer satisfaction and increase the efficiency of our business. Through our on-going training programs, human resources policies and employee wellness practises, we have increased employee satisfaction and contained employee turnover. We have been voted for three consecutive years the best company to work for in the agriculture sector by Deloitte‘s survey of South African employers.
Our company culture and style are built on our values. To this effect we undertake to value PEPSE:
- People are our biggest asset;
- Entrepreneurial spirit is encouraged;
- Profit driven;
- Service excellence is not negotiable
- Environment-friendly work ethic.
LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT OF OUR PEOPLE
At BKB we view learning as an integral part of growing our competitive advantage, our people. We recognise that when employees grow, they in turn grow our business. Our annual investment in training and development stands at 3,5% of payroll expenditure. This year offered learning offerings ranging from leadership development programmes, emotional intelligence and mentoring programs to technical training and product knowledge training initiatives (maize and wheat grading, animal health and animal handling training) across all levels of staff. Compliance training (legal and tax updates, health and safety training etc.) plays a vital role to ensure up to date skills and knowledge. There were more than 1,200 beneficiaries of training programmes and 27 of our employees benefitted from our staff bursary programme to further their part-time tertiary studies.
Wool Handling Learnership Programme
This year saw the launch of our Wool Handling Learnership for deaf employees on our wool floor. BKB currently employs ± 150 – 200 seasonal contract sorters and pressers on the wool floor. It is our goal to upskill 25 sorters and pressers annuallyand to equip them with either the Wholesale and Retail Distribution qualification, or the Wool and Mohair Handling qualification. In keeping with the national drive to uplift our disabled population, we place only deaf female employees onto this programme.Contract employees who have completed the programme will be guaranteed continuous employment with the company.
Shearing Learnership Programme
The Shearing Learnership Programme, where we endeavour to skill 1,500 sheep shearers over a period of five years, is fully operational. BKB currently employs ± 1700 people to shear 5.5 million animals for the South African wool and mohair industry. Of these 1 700 people, 80% are Lesotho citizens. BKB recognized the need to start training South African citizens to alleviate unemployment in SA.
The training of shearers is a complex and difficult task due to the following reasons.
- The pure physical effort of the task is a stumbling block. Shearers not only need to be trained in the skill of shearing, but also need to be physically conditioned, to be able to take the strain, especially on the back muscles.
- Shearing is a migratory occupation. Shearing happens on farms throughout SA, for at least 9 months of the year, during which the shearer
- will not be able to return home.
- Shearers can earn a decent salary, but it depends on their own effort, since shearers are paid on a pay for work basis.
New recruits often do not come from a farming background, and need to be sensitized to the rhythms of farm life.
It takes at least a year to get pupils to a level of shearing, so that they can shear enough sheep to be able to earn a decent living wage.
With this in mind we decided to register shearing as a SETA accredited course. The course runs over six weeks, and it covers a very basic farm management course. During this time the pupils are introduced to the basic skills needed to survive in an environment like this. Special care are given to physical training and cooking skills. Once the theoretical course is finished, pupils are trained in the physical shearing ofthe sheep. Training happens on a farm, and takes two weeks, after which a pupil will have a basic ability to shear without causing damage to a sheep.
From this point on shearers are required to exercise their skills on farms up until the point where they will be able to shear at least 60 sheep per day. The idea of this period is to hold pupils in an incubation period. For the year that it takes to qualify, pupils earn a stipend every two weeks, and all lodging and food are supplied. After the year period shearers will have the opportunity to become full time employees of the BKB shearing service where they will be deployed into shearing teams to operate nationally.
It is our vision to equip shearers with all the training and skills needed to eventually venture out in teams as entrepreneurs to the sheep farms, providing a fully-fledged shearing service in exchange for payment. Each team will have a vehicle to travel with from farm to farm, a fully-equipped caravan to cook and sleep in, as well as shearing equipment needed to provide a professional shearing service. These teams will operate as mini-businesses and will be self-reliant for food and transport.
We will ensure the customer base.
It would most likely take three years to achieve this goal and training would need to include driving skills, basic management and finance skills, vehicle and caravan maintenance as well as entrepreneurial skills. Given the level of investment into upskilling the shearers, it is imperative that screening process for the intake onto the programme is rigorous as to ensure the sustainability of the success of the programme.
Graduate Training Programme
A further strategic initiative has been approved by management to invest in a pool of trainees that over time, would be the source of appointments into permanent vacancies throughout our business.
It is our vision:
- That we develop a workplace that is neither black nor white, but simply South African;
- That the recruitment drive is not only underpinned by a general commitment to employment equity, but also with due cognizance of customer requirements, the nature of each position, and availability of candidates;
- That we appoint based on the principle of future ability to do the job, given the correct training and motivation to do so;
- That we identify disadvantaged employees who wish to enhance their skill levels or supervisory/managerial potential;
- That we document training plans for such employees, based on acceptable skills-assessment testing. All new appointments are linked with career development programs that clearly indicate the potential and the time frame for progress. Progress and the development of required abilities are duly monitored and reported on.
- That this group has an innate and passionate desire to contribute, to know our organization and to continue the enjoyment of sustained growth because of what they do each day.
The Graduate Training Programme, powered by Deloitte/DDI, addresses the need to fast-track the development of workplace ready future leaders. This high impact, modular programme consists of 5 phases, each phase lasting 3 days and covering topics ranging from communication, leadership, decision making, dealing with change, diversity, coaching, networking, influencing others, selection, performance management, to building successful teams. Each internationally benchmarked, competency based module has built in, practical application tools to be used back at work, and reinforces key foundational leadership communication skills. As part of their ongoing assessment, in teams, graduates research and prepare business improvement opportunities to be presented to senior management for evaluation, showcasing application of the tools and techniques mastered during the formal learning sessions. Strongly aligned to the BKB core values, the programme provides opportunities for top leadership guest speakers to communicate the BKB vision, leadership philosophy and values.
The complete list of modules:
- Phase 1 : Your Leadership Journey; Communicating with Impact, Valuing Differences, Taking the HEAT (customer service)
- Phase 2 : Networking for Enhanced Collaboration, Embracing Change, Navigating beyond Conflict, High Impact Feedback and Listening, Building Winning Partnerships
- Phase 3 : Working as a High Performing Team, Making High Quality Decisions, Strategies for Influencing Others
- Phase 4 : Setting and Reviewing Performance Expectations, High Performance Coaching, Addressing Poor Performance
- Phase 5 : Fostering Innovation, Targeted Selection Interviewer workshop, Launching a Successful team
HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
As employer, we are committed to equity in all employment practices.
Our employment strategy rests firmly on the following pillars:
- Appropriate structures and resources to co-ordinate and monitor the implementation of Employment Equity;
- Aspiring that the composition of the organisation begins to reflect regional and national economically active demographics at all job levels;
- Equitable policies, procedures, practices and facilities;
- Instilling an organisational culture that is conducive to Employment Equity, diversity and sustainable business
- An equal opportunity situation for all women.
- The accommodation of people with disabilities.
- To retain, promote and develop employees from designated groups through focused and appropriate recruitment, retention and development initiatives.
BKB is committed to Transformation and has an Employment Equity Forum, chaired by our General Manager Human Resources, which provides a forum for representatives of labour, management and other designated groups to review the progress, and discuss the direction, of our equity employment policies. In addition, the Board has a Social, Ethics and Transformation Committee and Human Resources Committee that ensures compliance and governance and conscious leadership.
HUMAN RESOURCES POLICIES
We provide a variety of services to our employees. These services are diverse and range from general benefits such as medical aid and retirement fund schemes, with generous death and disability benefits, to overall employee care. We have previously converted to a “cost to company” remuneration structure which remains instrumental for ensuring reward parity, internally as well as for external benchmarking as a means to attract and retain talent.
BKB Wellness includes free trauma counselling as well as an HIV/Aids insurance protector providing psychological and medical (including free anti-retroviral treatment) support to all employees. In addition, we also have merit recognition events and long service awards.
On-line Recruitment Portal
BKB Sage SkillsMap, an online recruitment talent community portal, aims to bridge the gap between job seekers and ourselves. Attracting and retaining the right talent is at the heart of any business’ success. With the skills pool in certain sectors being limited, it is becoming increasingly challenging for companies to gain access to the right candidates in the quickest possible time.
Employee Self-Service Centres
Our Employee Self Service (ESS) centres are enabled through Sharepoint which provides a secure place to store, organize, share, and access information from almost any device. Policies and procedures are readily available to all employees through this platform. ESS is designed to make administrative processes as effortless as possible by empowering staff to maintain their personal details, apply for leave and view payslips in a paperless environment. Capturing, approving and maintaining employees’ leave becomes a streamlined and paperless process.
The roll-out of the on-line and paperless performance review system was launched at Head Office in April last year. This workflow process has taken on momentum and in April 2015, 95% of all employee reviews were completed on-line.
BKB is committed to Transformation and has an Employment Equity Forum, chaired by our General Manager: Human Resources, which provides a forum for representatives of labour, management and other designated groups to review the progress, and discuss the direction, of our equity employment policies. In addition, the Board has a Social, Ethics and Transformation Committee and Human Resources Committee that ensures compliance and governance and conscious leadership.
Our Graduate Training Programme serves as a source of employment equity appointments into permanent vacancies throughout our business and as a result we have managed to appoint ten black professionals onto junior-middle management level in the past twelve months. Our total compliment comprises 85% black employees and shearers/ learner shearers.
We maintain positive labour relations, and we have lost only insignificant man-days from industrial action against us in the past five years. We are committed to maintaining our positive relationship with our employees.
Our industry is subject to the Agri-sector specific regulation under the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) legislation and we proactively implement policies that are in accordance with BBBEE guidelines. We are a level 5 contributor.
Our policies promote equitable human resource practices for greater inclusivity amongst all groups.
Ben Brynard (Director, until November 2015), Adrian Meyer (Director), Eddie Prinsloo (Director, until November 2015), Kamlesh Riga (Financial Director), Antony Davies (Vice Chairman), Johannette Oosthuizen (Company Secretary), Geoff Kingwill (Director), Hansie Swart (Director), Joubert Smit (Director Strategy and Business Development), Chris Louw (Chairman), Wolf Edmayr (Managing Director), Ronnie Smith (Operations Director), Charles Staple (Director)
Kamlesh Riga (Financial Director), Isak Staats (GM Wool and Mohair), Kelvyn Breetzke (GM Trading, until 31/1/2016), Johannette Oosthuizen (Company Secretary), Ben Vermooten (CEO Grain),
Joubert Smit (Director Strategy and Business Development), Jacobus le Roux (GM Corporate Marketing and Public Relations), Andre du Toit (GM Trading),
Wolf Edmayr (Managing Director), Karen Posthumus (GM Human Resources) Ronnie Smith (Operations Director), Cobus Oberholster (GM Livestock, Auctioneering & Properties)