Commenced my career in the table grape industry directly after studying and had amazing employers/mentors like Hein Scheun, Pieter Naude, Dirk van Eeden and Wietz Botes during 22 years of employment in the South African table grape industry. Passionate about my work and love to support growers in everyday farming activities. The everchanging climate, marketplace, varietal spectrum and growing practices, keep our industry dynamic and exciting. In March 2020, my family and I moved to Mildura, Australia, where I now work as an Agronomist - Table grapes for Costa, Australia.
Dr. Bruno Defilippi
Agronomist from the University of Chile, and Ph.D in plant physiology from the University of California-Davis. Presently researcher at the Institute for Agricultural Research, and Head of the Postharvest Unit. His reserach area focuses on physiology and technology of horticultural produces, with an emphasis in table grapes, avocado and blueberries. His reserach topics includes the identification and study of factors determining fruit quality during long term storage, and the integration of pre- and postharvest managements in order to ensure overall quality.
Born and bred in the Western Cape, Willem studied at the University of Stellenbosch, where he obtained his BSc Agric and MBA degrees in 1981 and 1987 respectively. In 1982 he commenced his career in agriculture and served the wine industry at KWV in various disciplines over many years. During this time he was located in the United Kingdom for three years where he headed up a sales and marketing company. In 2007 he joined the fruit industry and became the Operations Director of Colors Fruit. This was followed by a 3 year period of business consultation in agriculture, whereafter he was appointed as the CEO of the South African Table Grape Industry, SATI. He plays golf and love outdoor life and travel.
Dr. John Purchase
Dr John Purchase started his career as a scientist at the ARC, where he spent 22 years. He later became CEO of Grain and has been CEO of Agbiz since 2007. Dr Purchase has held several esteemed positions including Board member of the Land & Agricultural Bank of South Africa and NAMC, Deputy Chairman of the Maize Trust and at BUSA, Chairman of SAGIS and Business Convenor in the Trade Industry Chamber at NEDLAC. He is also a Director of BUSA. He currently leads the Economic Workstream within the COVID-19 Response Task Team of the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Minister Thoko Didiza. Dr Purchase has received several accolades for his contribution to agriculture.
Eunice Avenant was born in Pretoria and grew up in Nelspruit and Hoedspruit. She has a MSc Agric (Horticultural Science), with a focus on table grape rootstocks and potassium nutrition, which she obtained from Pretoria University. Eunice is currently doing her PhD on water productivity in table grapes and nectarines. She has over 30 years’ experience in research. Eunice has worked as a lecturer at Pretoria University and Elsenburg, and since August 2012 she has been employed at SATI as the Training Manager and has been seconded to Stellenbosch University as an Extra-ordinary Lecturer in Viticulture at the Department of Viticulture and Oenology. She is married to Jan Avenant – her soulmate and partner in life and in the table grape industry.
Clean Stream Environmental Services
Fritz Bekker is a SACNASP registered professional scientist that specializes in the design of monitoring strategies to better understand the complex relationship between humans and aquatic systems. After gaining valuable experience at the Department of Water Affairs, and as a mine ecologist in the global Rio Tinto mining group, Fritz founded several successful environmental businesses, which include the Clean Stream group of companies and SANAS accredited water and toxicity laboratories. As a dedicated conservationist, Fritz now takes on environmental causes where he can make a positive contribution by exposing and challenging those responsible for environmental degradation. Fritz is also a commercial cattle farmer and beekeeper.
Dr. Jeanne De Waal
Applied Entomologist (PhD Agric, Stellenbosch University) - Integrated Field Scientist, Corteva AgriScience. Responsible for the development and communication of commercial pest management solutions in fruiting crops for the South African export market.
Mechanical Engineering (Cape Technicon) - Product Specialist, in Spraying and Spraying Technology, Rovic Leers. Focus on spray application technology in all varieties of crops.
Liaan Janse van Vuuren
Technical Business Development Manager for Viking Marketing (MSc Agric, Stellenbosch University) Focusing on finding effective sustainable solutions as part of a multi-dimensional approach to crop protection. Focus crops included table grapes, wine grapes, citrus and other permanent crops.
Stefan obtained B.Agric. in 2006 at Elsenburg. He started his career as Junior Production Manager at Karsten Farms. He then joined Orange River Cellars where he was promoted to Senior Viticulturist. For two consecutive years he won the award as Viticulturist of the year. His next move was to Inteligro, as Crop Solutions Specialist. He supplied mainly Table, Raisin Grape and Pecan Nut producers with advice and programs for fertilization, monitoring and other farming practices. In 2019 he joined Raisins SA to achieve his passion of servicing the agricultural sector and improving practices and quality in the grape industry.
Dawie Moelich is the Technical & Market Access manager at the South African Table Grape Industry NPC (SATI). Dawie has a MSc Agric degree in Horticulture from Stellenbosch University and previously worked in the applied postharvest research field on deciduous fruit. For the last 4 years, his responsibilities are focused on the technical issues related to acquiring new market access, maintenance of existing market access and optimization of existing postharvest market access protocols.
MSc Agric in Horticulture at University of Stellenbosch - Technical and Marketing Manager, Philagro South Africa. Responsible for marketing and sales of Philagro product portfolio and Development of Plant Growth Regulators on tree and vine crops. Chair of Table and Dried grape forum of SASEV.
CropLife / AGRI - INTEL
Luigia Steyn is an independent Technical Consultant on international pesticide MRL regulations. She is a responsible for the maintenance of the retailer pesticide requirements and MRL information of the Agri-Intel website. Luigia is the main point of contact for ongoing communication with MRL regulatory authorities as well as international retailers regarding pesticide requirements. She holds the degrees BSc Molecular and Cellular Biology and MSc in Genetics (Stellenbosch University).
Tarryn Wettergreen has 11 years of research-related experience in the agricultural sector. After completing her master’s degree in Soil Science and Viticulture at Stellenbosch University, she worked as a researcher in South African sugar industry in Durban, where she specialised in Soil Health. In 2012, Tarryn joined the SATI team as the Research and Technical Transfer Manager.
CropLife / AGRI - INTEL
Chana-Lee White holds the degrees BSc (Hons) in Microbiology (Rhodes University) and MSc in Plant Pathology (Stellenbosch University). She started her career as a research and technical support officer at a leading table grape grower-exporter before joining Agri-Intel in 2011. Chana-Lee is the Agri-Intel Manager and is responsible for the maintenance of the content of the agrochemical database. She is also responsible for ongoing communication with registration holders to ensure that Agri-Intel remains up to date with changes in registrations and to resolve queries regarding information contained in the labels.