Andries Wiese became head of the Hollard Broker Markets Agri team on 1 September 2017. Before that he was agri group manager at Mutual & Federal (now Old Mutual Insure).
“Agriculture is so much more than a piece of land and a farm gate; it comprises a community who adds a social dividend to it. That is why ‘local is lekker’ speaks to making expertise available to farmers at a local level,” says Andries, whose passion for the agricultural sector goes beyond economics.
“Hollard’s strong social conscience dovetails with my own and that of the agricultural sector, and is a catalyst for sustainable and enduring positive change.”
In September, Andries attended Nampo Cape in Bredasdorp. He believes it is only logical that Hollard would join an event such as this, where the core focus is agriculture – be it technology, new developments, people who passionately believe in their industry, or the opportunity to engage with stakeholders in the sector.
“It is essential to be part of the action, to add value to agriculture and communities where agriculture is the mainstay of the economy.”
Impacting on the economy
The agricultural sector is of immense importance to the country, especially since large parts of it rely entirely on agriculture for its survival. Adding to this, Andries believes the importance of the agricultural sector can be seen in the impact it has on the economy and communities.
Divulging his plans for growing Hollard’s presence in the agricultural sector, he notes that it includes developing insurance products that are meaningful and practical for the modern farmer.
“We want to support the agricultural community, and this is an opportunity to make a difference with the backing of a group that has established its bona fides in other spheres. To this end we will also be launching a new purpose-made agricultural product that addresses the changing environment in an exciting and alternative way that makes sense.”
Viewing insurance holistically
Different parts of South Africa experience widely different agricultural conditions, realities and needs. “Our agri team focuses on how we can offer localised advice and tailored insurance cover,” says Andries.
“It is vitally important for farmers to manage their businesses holistically by remaining up-to-date and on track with matters such as short-term and life insurance, financial planning, protection of assets, and more. Short-term insurance is an example of a valuable safety net that can be utilised when disaster strikes.
“With the help of an insurance company, a farmer can get back on track and can quickly reach the same level of operation as before the loss or damages occurred – the business therefore continues without unnecessary obstacles in its way. It is also very important for farmers to make use of a properly qualified and experienced financial advisor or broker who will guide them through the potential quagmire.
“Making a mistake concerning your insurance can be devastating. Rather get an expert to manage your insurance needs.”
A solution for technology
Insurance companies such as Hollard wants to empower farmers and assist them to manage risk by protecting their farms against elements such as nature, which cannot always be controlled.
“We are not the solution to all problems and concerns. However, when a farmer talks to us we will do our level best to come up with a viable solution. It is therefore critically important that a farmer, the insurance company and broker have an in-depth conversation about the farmer’s bigger business plan, the type of risk that can be managed, the areas that require assistance, and how to mitigate and transfer risk to a trusted partner,” remarks Andries.
At your doorstep
Hollard recently opened a new office in Queenstown in the Eastern Cape, as there was a real need in that agricultural community for the company’s services. Farmers can either visit the new office or a Hollard representative can visit them on the farm. – Carin Venter, Farmbiz