SA dairy firm pledges cash to fight rhino poaching

2013-09-26 11:00
Fair Cape has pledged to donate money to fight rhino poaching on every specially marked six pack of yoghurt sold. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Fair Cape has pledged to donate money to fight rhino poaching on every specially marked six pack of yoghurt sold. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - A South African company has put its money where its mouth is in the fight against rhino poaching that has devastated the animal population.

Fair Cape has committed itself to making a 50c donation for every six pack of yoghurt over the next six months to fund anti-poaching activities.

"The brand is built on a couple of pillars and one of these pillars is called Fair Cape Cares and it's basically that pillar of the business that we are involved in issues that we do identify and try and get involved in those," Melt Loubser CEO of Fair Cape, told News24.

Loubser, though conceded that the pledge was part of the company's marketing strategy, but argued that there were tangible benefits for the cause of rhino conservation.

"It's definitely marketing - it's cause-related marketing which means that at least there's something coming out of the marketing and in this case... the attitude of the organisation is that yes, we have to do the marketing, but then at least a huge benefit flows from that marketing to causes that are in need of funding."

Heritage

According to the department of environmental affairs (DEA), 688 rhino have been poached in SA so far this year. This is on course to nearly double the 668 total of 2012, which was also significantly higher than the 448 poached in 2011.

The department of environmental affairs has committed itself to ensuring the survival of South African rhino despite a spike in poaching.

"Among the latest developments is the work being done by the department of environmental affairs, on consultation with the National Treasury, to establish the National Rhino Fund to address all interventions directed to rhino poaching," Minister Edna Molewa said at the World Rhino Day parade in Pretoria.

The minister indicated that rhino are a South African heritage.

"The spate of rhino poaching has strengthened our resolve and determination to work tirelessly to address this plague," Molewa added.

Environmental group, the World Wide Fund for Nature has argued that the root cause of the spike in rhino poaching is Asia and that reducing demand there would significantly decrease poaching.

"I absolutely agree Asia is the root of the problem - obviously in South Africa we must do as much as we can to protect the rhino, but that's not going to solve the problem. I think that's a key point," Dr Jo Shaw, Rhino Co-ordinator for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-SA) told News24.

Rhino tagging

Profit

Loubser said that the 50c donation programme would run for six months and that the company was intent on donating the net profit from the yoghurt sales to the cause.

"At the end of the day what we are donating is more or less the net profit on that pack of yoghurt," he said.

According to Cites (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), poachers are heavily armed in their determination to kill rhino.

"AK47 assault rifles and 303 calibre rifles have been the most commonly used weapons but, recently, heavier calibre arms (eg .375s and .458s) are now being used," Cites said.

Loubser encouraged South Africans in their personal capacities to increase the awareness and actions to prevent rhino poaching.

"At the end of the day we have to do what we can do. I think that there's a huge awareness created by people's activism and by the role that public participation is playing.

"For me personally, it is a good cause; it is a cause that we have to support and it is something that we cannot just sit down and say 'It [poaching] is happening; it is getting worse every year'."


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Read more on:    wwf  |  cites  |  rhino poaching
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