One for all, and all for one!
The headline is traditionally associated with the heroes of the novel The Three Musketeers, written in the 1800s by the French author Alexandre Dumas. It perfectly summarises GEA’s Golf Day, however …
You almost needed Musketeer-like skills to play golf at GEA Southern and Eastern Africa’s Golf Day, hosted at the Rondebosch Golf Club on October 29, as the strong wind led some balls astray. The weather didn’t dampen the mood, however, as everyone was excited that this year’s event was held in the Mother City.
Luckily, the sun did shine and fun was had by all, but the day was about more than braving the breeze and riding around in a golf cart … This year’s proceeds (around R25 000 in total) were donated to The Friends of the Children’s Hospital Association. The organisation provides non-medical support to patients, their parents and caregivers at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town.
David Stevens, director of The Friends of the Children’s Hospital Association, explains exactly what this support entails: “Sometimes families stay at the hospital for weeks, months, or even a year or more. We provide them with three meals a day and toiletries, and ensure that they receive social support. We also provide food parcels and assist them with money for transport when they have to return home, and assist them with funeral costs.”
Pieter Stemmet, GEA director – head of finance for Southern and Eastern Africa, says: “This event is in aid of the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, so, hopefully, through your sponsorship and contributions we can make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate.”
Stevens adds: “We want to thank everyone at GEA, and those who attended the Golf Day, for contributing to the work of the Red Cross and the programmes at the hospital.”
GEA also took the opportunity to communicate some new developments within the Group, which is one of the largest suppliers of equipment to the food processing industry and a wide range of other process industries.
“GEA is a global leader in process equipment and technology, providing innovative solutions for smart food processing and for a more efficient use of energy resources,” the company notes. In 2014, GEA generated consolidated revenues in excess of €4,5 billion (around R69,4 billion), more than 70 percent of which came from the food sector, which is a long-term growth industry.
“By 2025, there will be eight-billion people on the planet and nearly half of the world’s people already live in cities. By the year 2050, that figure will have increased to two thirds of the population,” the company points out.
“How can we feed all these people? What can we do to keep them healthy? How can we supply these cities with sufficient energy while conserving limited resources? We concern ourselves with these things daily …”
It is no wonder that, in June 2015, operational sales and service activities were brought together into one organisation. Country organisations now offer the entire range of GEA products and services and are the central point for customer contact.
“GEA has been going through quite a few changes in the last couple of months – we basically went through a global alignment to bring all the businesses together. We call this One GEA,” explains Stemmet.
The company’s different applications include: food processing and packaging portfolios; dairy processing; dairy farming; land-based transport; and various solution for the pharmaceutical, beverages, chemical, marine, leisure and sport, and utilities industries.
“Complying with the highest standards of hygiene, our GEA production lines turn milk into milk powder, which includes essential vitamins and minerals in concentrated form for a successful start in life,” the global process technology provider points out.
The company adds that approximately one in three instant coffee production lines have been built by GEA, and that roughly every second beer, around one quarter of the world’s milk and thirty percent of chicken nuggets are processed with GEA equipment.
GEA’s philosophy calls for the production of sustainable energy, and the company is involved in the process line for the production of bioethanol. “This green fuel will get us to our destination in a clean, carbon-neutral way,” the company states.
Stemmet adds: “Most of you will know the company for the Thermo King units, or a technician coming to your site to do some service work or component sales. Through our 13 branches in Africa we are definitely much closer to the customer than ever before. We are, however, still expanding and have plans to continue growing into Africa.” explains Stemmet.