Printing SA, KwaZulu-Natal Chamber hosted their first business networking event for the year at the Westville Country Club in eThekweni.
The first talk was given by Mr Gerard Busse, Marketing Manager for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) South Africa. He provided a brief background on FSC, an overview of the importance of sustainable forestry to the natural, economic and social environments and its support of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
He explained the 10 Principles of Forestry Management contained in the FSC Forestry Management Standard and explained how FSC’s chain-of-custody (CoC) system operates. FSC Chain-of-Custody certiﬁcation connects consumers to healthy forests by tracking products from forest to shelf. It ensures that FSC materials and products have been checked at every stage of processing, reassuring customers purchasing products sold with FSC claims that they are genuinely FSC-certiﬁed. Any company involved in the transformation or processing of a forest-based product or wishing to apply the FSC label to their products and/or sell them with an FSC claim, must be FSC-certiﬁed.
Paper and other print substrates made from trees are both renewable and recyclable, but only when they are responsibly sourced and sensitively processed. FSC-certified printers offer their clients the ability to demonstrate their commitment to responsible sourcing through the use of FSC-certified papers and the application of the FSC labels.
The different types of on-product-labelling were discussed and how one checks that a supplier and or product is FSC certified on the FSC public database (https://info.fsc.org). He also discussed the growing awareness of Sustainability Standards amongst business and the general public.
The next speaker was Wiseman Nyeni, Regional Manager for the Department of Trade Industry (dti) in KwaZulu-Natal. He explained the role of the dti in assisting established and new businesses accessing funding. The Black Industrialists Scheme (BIS) is one such scheme which is a grant programme to unlock the potential that exists with black industrialists through deliberate, targeted and well-defined financial and non-financial interventions.
To qualify, industrialists must have more than 50% ownership, have either ownership or management control, take a personal risk in the business and make a long-term commitment to the business and lastly be a medium- to long-term investor.
In addition to the requirement already mentioned, applicants need to be a registered legal entity in terms of the Companies Act 2008 (as amended), be a taxpayer in good standing, have a valid B-BBEE certificate, be directly involved in the day-to-day running of the operation and have expertise in the sector that the business is involved in. The project may entail starting a new operation, upgrading an existing business or acquiring an existing business and require a minimum investment of R30 000 000. Most importantly the project should result in securing or increasing direct employment.
The BIS scheme offers a cost sharing grant ranging from 30% to 50% to approved entities to a maximum of R50 000 000. This means the applicant would have had to secure the remaining funding from another source such as his/her bank, the National Empowerment Fund or Industrial Development Corporation.
There are other more detailed requirements. Interested parties should request the ‘Programme Guideline: Black Industrialist Scheme’ from their local DTI office. The message from our speaker was that dti wants to work with applicants so that their applications, motivations and supporting document are technically sound before being submitted.
Jermaine Naicker, Regional Manager for Printing SA thanked the speakers for the presentations, thanked the audience for their attendance and asked them to contact either speaker through Printing SA should they require additional information or assistance.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a global not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests. As the most trusted forest management solution, FSC was created in 1993 to help consumers and businesses identify products from well-managed forests and sets standards by which forests are certified, offering credible verification to people who are buying wood and wood products. Currently over 203 million hectares, or 16.1 per cent of all production forests in the world – involving more than 140 000 forest managers – and 60 000 businesses are certified to FSC standards.
For more information visit www.fsc.org