TOTAL South Africa has enjoyed a unique relationship with organised agriculture going back to 1956. Unique in the sense that it was built on a gentleman's agreement that was based on the supply of petroleum products to farmers that revolutionised the way in which farmers were able to acquire these products.
In addition to making it easier for farmers to buy their petroleum products from TOTAL via their agricultural co-operatives, the company had in 1966 introduced a scheme that saved farmers more than R1 million per year at the time in the cost of lubricants. A range of "coop" oils of the same quality as TOTAL's normal lubricants was sold to the cooperatives at a very competitive price.
The range of agricultural lubricants, called TOTAL Agri Lubricants, is still available and specially blended by TOTAL for the agricultural market and its applications. After more than three decades TOTAL Agri Lubricants are firmly entrenched as a proven high quality product in the agricultural market that has maintained its cost effectiveness through the years.
The majority of farmers in the country still buy their fuel and lubricants from cooperatives, although there is a tendency for some farmers to do business directly with agents.
TOTAL Products are supplied to the agricultural community through some 300 agricultural co-operative branches and agricultural distributors.
The relationship, that could even be termed a partnership, between TOTAL and organised agriculture is beyond the supply of products. It has over the years included a congress service, financial sponsorship to these congress and assistance with drought relief.