Governance
Our board of directors is responsible for the strategic direction and control of the Group, while ensuring that our continuous commitment to sustainability is achieved.

The board comprises the Audit and Risk Committee, the Remuneration and Nomination Committee and the Social and Ethics Committee to ensure that our values are entrenched in all aspects of the business.

Corporate Social Investment

Our purpose of corporate social investment is to have a sustainable impact in the communities where we and our businesses operate. We therefore actively encourage our businesses to play a meaningful transformational role within their communities.

As Nelson Mandela stated, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to

change the world”, thus one of our primary focuses is education. The long-term contribution and broader societal impact of educational development is evident in the local communities.

The various socio-economic development programmes are aimed at achieving this goal and include study bursaries and the upgrading of local schools.

Our commitment to socio-economic transformation is further realised by the Overberg Agri Development Trust and Woza Phambili, which make meaningful and sustainable investments to benefit local communities. Woza Phambili owns a 26% stake in Boltfast and is a level 1 BBBEE contributor.

Our businesses fund and/or operate numerous corporate social investment projects which inter alia include:

  • Grassroots’ financial support to the Path out of Poverty initiative which uplifts and develops rural communities.
  • Grassroots’ establishment of the Rise Up Bakery, owned by 5 previously disadvantaged individuals, that supplies bread to employees and creches.
  • Montagu’s Partnership with Community Action Partnership (CAP) and sponsorship of CAPability protective workshop for disabled persons.

  • Overberg Agri’s annual farmworkers’ information day, whereby farm personnel are empowered to take responsibility within their community by way of introducing new farming practices and technical support.
  • Overberg Agri’s Learnership programme facilitated by Bathopele for members of Genadendal community to obtain National Certificates in Mixed Farming.
  • Bredasdorp Slagpale’s mentoring program to provide operational and financial assistance to emerging agriculturalists.

Compliance

A formal compliance framework with clearly defined roles, responsibilities and procedures has been developed to ensure compliance with applicable laws, policies and supervisory

requirements. Ultimately the Social and Ethics Committee is responsible for overseeing compliance.

Health and Safety

With the exception of P & B Lime Works, which is regulated by the Mine Health and Safety Act (No. 29 of 1996), occupational health and safety is regulated by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (No. 85 of 1993). Health and safety are a priority for Acorn Agri & Food and each of our

subsidiaries is responsible for health and safety in their respective workplaces. Health and safety committees function within each business and regular audits are performed by an independent service provider to ensure compliance with health and safety requirements.

Ethics

Each director and employee of our Group is required to comply with high moral, ethical and professional standards at all times. The following principles underlie the ethical code:

Integrity

To be honest, sincere, consistent, fair, faithful and transparent.

Accountability

To commit oneself to what has been undertaken, to accept responsibility for one’s decisions and actions and to account for it.

Responsibility

To acknowledge one’s duty towards the company and to act accordingly and to contribute to the good image of the company, its success and sustainability.

Respect

To recognise every person’s dignity and to treat all people with respect, irrespective of their culture, language, preferences, race, gender or opinion.

At the beginning of every board meeting, directors declare their interests. To ensure that transparency is maintained during share trading, and based on the principle that additional knowledge about the company’s performance may influence the value and/or price of the

shares, a closed period for trading by directors and senior managers in the company’s shares applies. Closed periods apply from the date of the financial year-end until the company has published its results on its website.

Whistle blower policy

To ensure that a professional work environment free of fraud and corruption is provided, a formal whistle blower policy has been implemented in accordance with section 159(7) of the Companies Act. In terms of the policy, the Acorn Agri & Food introduced a confidential whistle blower hotline, which is available 24/7 and administered by Deloitte. The hotline is available to all stakeholders and reports are submitted to the Audit and Risk Committee, once lodged via the hotline.