Beyond Borders- Hollard South Africa

Why do we still farm? What would possess anyone to start a new farming operation, let alone in another country?

Why would someone move their operations beyond the borders of South Africa? Even before one looks at physically expanding your business outside the country one should ask whether you have expanded your own mind beyond the borders of convention and history. This is probably the most difficult move: getting out of the rut that limits our thinking to what we know and have experience of.

Of course, it is important to use our experience and knowledge to our best advantage, applying known and successful techniques to particular challenges and business situations. But what if there was something more…? Perhaps a new piece of technology or method to maximize return…But we are scared to venture outside the known.

People are naturally risk averse and tend to prefer the safer tried and tested route. This is understandable but then you inevitably end up with the same result. We all know and remember Einstein and his comment that you cannot expect different results from repeating the same thing over and over again. Venturing outside the known does bring risk with it. Risk brings reward but you have to manage it in a responsible manner. Understanding the risks and mitigating them as far as possible is key to peace of mind.

In the commercial environment, and farming certainly is part of this segment, it has become imperative to explore opportunities beyond the borders of South Africa. Our trading partners in Africa and the rest of the world form part of the opportunities we have to explore. Our products and skills are in demand and we have to look at becoming part of the full value chain and by doing so enhance our own standing.

One way of doing this would be to export or import. I become a supplier or purchaser of goods and trade accordingly. The goods are exposed to certain risks as they move across the world and one needs to insure them accordingly. Strange things can happen en route. There is probably nothing worse than seeing your precious cargo of fresh fruit rotting away in a harbor or airport holding area because the recipients have a power failure or some other problem that makes it impossible to take delivery – and you suffer the loss! Perhaps your goods were the target of pirates as they sailed up the coast of Africa… The point is that short term insurers have products that cater for these types of exposures. You just have to speak to them before embarking otherwise your new enterprise could literally and figuratively be sunk!

Within the financial services industry, we find that our clients also explore opportunities in setting up shop in other countries. There are a variety of reasons for doing this and it entails a myriad of hoops to jump through. Local legislation, tax implications, exchange regulations, employees, trade tariffs and many more all compete for your attention. Countries have particular requirements that they impose in insurers and often an insurer will only be allowed to insure assets within a country if it is registered and licensed to do so by the local financial authorities. As a farmer and businessman you couldn’t be particularly bothered by this, but you should be because it could very well mean that your precious assets that were moved from your farm in Pofadder to Perth or Port Louis are not covered! Your south African insurer will also have difficulty insuring your combine harvester in Pandamatenga on your “Springbokvlakte Plaaspolis”. I stress the point, but you can run into all sorts of difficulty trying to insure foreign based and or registered assets with your local insurer and end up having unfulfilled expectations.

Solution? Insurers are at the forefront of supporting expanding businesses, especially in Africa and you need to have a discussion with your insurer if you are planning to move beyond our borders. The more progressive insurers have operations in other territories as well and will be able to assist you in your endeavors, either by their own licensed operations in other countries or by means of their trading partners in a particular country. As with farmers and businessmen moving beyond borders and exploring various options in doing so, insurers have followed suit and also make use of a variety of methods to facilitate requests and business opportunities. You need to partner with an insurer that will enable a better future for you irrespective of where you operate from or to.

So, why bother? Why do we keep on farming? Why do we move beyond borders both physically and mentally? Why should we?

The town of Amiens is just short of two hours’ drive north of Paris. Amiens’ claim to fame is a beautiful gothic cathedral recognized as one of the most exceptional examples of such architecture. Building of the original finished in 1266 and the scale is incredible: 145 m long and 42.3m high and 14.6m wide. The german witer and poet Heinrich Heine visited this cathedral with a friend and standing outside in awe the friend asked Heinrich Heine: “Why do we not build such cathedrals anymore?” Heine answered that to build a cathedral you need a conviction, not merely an opinion.

Perhaps that is the answer to our question: although farmers are full of opinions, they farm because of a conviction and love for the land. You have to truly believe in your cause and direction. If you are going to venture outside and beyond borders you had better make sure you are doing it because of a conviction and not just an opinion. Whilst you are at it: make sure that the insurer who is accompanying you to help mitigate and manage risk is also doing it because of a conviction that he wants to help enable your better future and not just an opinion that he could make money off you. Choose a partner that will help you build a cathedral – even if it is beyond the border.

Vir meer inligting, besoek of kontak Andries Wiese by 011 351 5877 of This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., of gesels met jou makelaar.




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