A Childhood Dream is Fulfilled when this Man Answers The Call of the Open Sea

At a young age, most of us have some idea of what we would like to be when we grow up. The options might range from the most bizarre occupations (you obviously cannot tame a wild imagination) to gradually turning into things we think are within our grasp. 

As a child, Eugene Burgens was always drawn to the ocean. 

“I always had a passion to go to sea and be on a ship and somehow I ended up in the fishing industry,” he recalls fondly. “I started right at the bottom in a factory where I processed fish and worked my way to where I am today,” says Eugene, who attributes his success to his profound passion for the open seas.

Through its South Africanisation Programme, Oceana – home of the famous Lucky Star brand and leading global fishing company – focussed on transferring skills to unemployed South African youth by training them on-board the Desert Diamond – one of the country’s largest fishing vessels. It was through this program that Eugene Burgens was trained and finally appointed as the first Black skipper of the same Desert Diamond.

Oceana is a committed investor in the economy of South Africa and wherever it operates, and thereby contributes to food, job security and empowerment that is delivered not only directly to its employees, – through the Oceana Empowerment Trust – but also to the communities in which they live. Through all these initiatives, Oceana is not only expanding their growth in the global fishing space, but is also playing a significant role in South African society, with a mission to Positively Impact Lives.

Eugen Burgens is a reminder to all of us to answer the call and keep chasing our dreams.

With each sip you take, can you even begin to imagine that the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) is a provider of comprehensive services for 600,000 small tea farmers which represents over 60% of the countries total tea production and 13% of the global tea supply? Me too. Its services span across the entire tea processing chain including, transportation, warehousing, processing, marketing, financing and agri-extension to better educate farmers and improve the farming process.

KTDA pays farmers at various stages pre and post final sale. Given the volume of farmers and money being moved on a frequent basis, KTDA needed to have efficient technologies in place to meet expectations, simplify the process and keep up with their growing business. The livelihood of these farmers depends on getting regularly paid for tea supplied – and in the past, this exchange had been a tedious and laborious challenge.

With its global reach, IT capabilities and expertise in working with a myriad of local banks and currencies, Citi developed a system that seamlessly enables KTDA to pay 600,000 farmers quickly, reliably and securely, with an audit trail that ensures transparency. Citi’s new Mass Pay module enables KTDA to pay farmers the same day the funds are received.

Since inception and the introduction of this new system, the farmers have been able to depend on reliable and secure payments for their crops. Not only are they able to better manage their lives, they’re able to support their families, secure their futures without the worry of late payments.

So, just as you enjoy the warmth of your favourite tea in the comfort of your home we can safely say that tea farmers in Kenya are warm and fuzzy inside too because: it’s not just a cup of tea.