Coastal Links (CLSA) members from the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape will come together from Thursday February 11 to Friday, February 12 to exchange ideas and good practices around co-operatives, according to Michelle Joshua, Masifundise Fieldworker.

“Seven CLSA members from the Eastern Cape will travel to Buffelsjagsbaai, where they will discuss with three CLSA members about the role of their co-operatives in the community,” says Joshua.

Buffeljagsbaai started three co-operatives two years ago, to look at processing and marketing some of the products they harvest on their Interim Relief permits.

They then decided to mainly look at in-shore products like mussels, allekreukels and sourfigs (suurvye), which grow in and around the area.

“The mussels, which are part of the Interim Relief permit, they harvest, process and market on a commercial scale. But, the allekreukels and figs, for which they use a post office permit (recreational), they process for the personal use of the members of the co-operatives.”

Joshua explains that because they use recreational permits for the allekreukels and figs, they cannot sell it, but that the members of the co-ops have already realised that these products do have commercial value, and that there is a market to which they can sell.

“The co-op members already make food from the mussels; they make things like curries, soups and bredies (stews), which they sell.”

They also make different dishes with the allekreukels, for which they say there is also an interest, as well as jams and other products with the figs.

They look forward to the implementation of the SSF where these species will be included in their basket of rights. They are confident that this is the answer to unemployment and poverty alleviation for their community.  Further to this, they are keen to share their knowledge and learnings with the EC group.

“The CLSA members from the Eastern Cape will essentially come down to learn from the Buffelsjagsbaai members how to process and market these resources within a co-operative,” says Joshua.

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