The National Emergent Red Meat Producers’ Organisation (NERPO) was established in 1997, to lobby and articulate the needs and aspirations of emerging red meat producers, and support and facilitate growth and development to allow them to participate meaningfully in the entire red meat value chain.
Aggrey Mahanjana, the first managing director of NERPO, was at the centre of the conception, establishment, growth and development of the organisation since September 1995. He saw the disparities between the emergent and commercial red meat sector in terms of access to resources, opportunities, support, skills and capacity and wanted to do something about it.
His efforts were supported by the national chairperson of the Red Meat Producers Organisation (RPO) at the time, Jannie Fourie, and the CEO of the RPO, Gerhard Schutte. Since then, the relationship between the RPO and NERPO was sealed through the establishment of the South African Federation of Red Meat Producers, a joint structure that looks after matters of common interest of established and emerging farmers.
Other role-players who made a valuable contribution to the formation of NERPO, were CMK Seape, a Free State representative who also served as the organisation’s first national chairperson, along with Wilson Muvhulawa, the representative of Limpopo, Moses Mnyamazeli Zengetwa, the representative of the Eastern Cape, pastor Henry Trevor Vass, representative of the Northern Cape and David Mothoagae, representative of the North West.
The initial funding for the establishment of NERPO came from various supporters including the Meat Board via the RPO and the National Development Agency, an entity of the Department of Social Development and the Meat Industry Trust.
NERPO, over time, has turned into one of the fastest growing commodity-based organisations, representing over three-million smallholder farmers.