The agribusiness sector is the traditional heart of the Western Cape's economy. Seven of the top 10 exports from the province are agricultural or agri-processed products. Positioned as a springboard into Africa, Cape Town and the Western Cape are key destinations for export opportunities into the continent.
The Western Cape’s unique Mediterranean and winter-rainfall climate allows the agricultural sector to produce a diverse mix of products. Sophisticated manufacturing capacity and excellent port and transport networks further combine to make the province an agribusiness powerhouse.
Agribusiness makes up about 8% of the Western Cape’s economy. The largest contributor to this is primary agriculture, closely followed by processed food and beverages, which dominates the region’s manufacturing activities.
The Western Cape is the largest exporter of agribusiness products among South African provinces, accounting for almost half of the country’s agribusiness exports. The sector contributes significantly to the region’s export earnings, with more than half of the Western Cape’s exports coming from this sector.
Cape Town and the Western Cape are a significant source of agricultural and food and beverage products in Southern, and increasingly East, Africa. Proximity to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world promise sustainable and growing market opportunities in the region.
The City of Cape Town and surrounding towns present an established hub for food and beverage manufacturing, boasting some of the country’s largest companies in the sector. The region is a competitive location for food and beverage manufacturing and export operations. This is driven by proximity to a vast and productive agricultural hinterland with distinctive agricultural yields, a large international port, a growing consumer population, a strong skills base, and excellent R&D and manufacturing capabilities.
The Western Cape hosts many businesses that operate at various points along the agribusiness supply chain, including inputs, production, processing, marketing and distribution of agricultural, forestry and fishing products. With winter rainfall in the Boland and year-round rainfall in the Southern Cape, the Western Cape’s unique climate offers a diverse crop mix and year-round production potential.
The sector benefits from excellent road, rail, sea and air transport, and cold-chain infrastructure and processing facilities. In addition, two universities offer advanced programmes in cereal science, fruit technology, plant biotechnology and viticulture, offering a pool of talent and new skills for any operator in the sector.
Please download our 2020 International Trade Mission Plan, visit the market opportunities page, or contact us to get in touch with the dedicated Trade Unit, which is ready to answer any questions.
Wesgro supports trade and investment in medicinal cannabis in accordance with its mandate to support economic growth and job creation in the local economy. To learn more about opportunities around investing in cannabis, please download our factsheet:
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The Wesgro Trade Unit provides a free and confidential service to help you establish and grow your business in Cape Town and the Western Cape. Our diverse economy, strong skills base and well-connected infrastructure present many opportunities for foreign buyers seeking high-quality goods and services, as well as exporters looking to expand into the African market.
Read our latest sector and country fact sheets and research reports to identify new opportunities to grow your business.