Fall Creek opens blueberry nursery in South Africa, welcomes new regional director
Burgert Van Dyk has joined Fall Creek Farm & Nursery, Inc., as regional director for South Africa. In his new role, he will help the Fall Creek business expand in the region. He'll be especially instrumental as the company opens a new blueberry nursery there, says the corporation.
Once open, he'll oversee the recruitment of the staff needed to operate the nursery. Another of his responsibilities will be helping to develop strong relationships with the company’s blueberry nursery. He'll also focus on relationships with genetics customers in the region, says the company.
Another part of Van Dyck's position will be overseeing the implementation and administration of new genetics licensing programs. He'll be in charge of building the regional customer service, sales and grower support team as well, says Fall Creek.
Van Dyk has 25 years of experience in the agriculture industry. What's more, he is an expert in plant variety intellectual property rights. Most recently, he was the general manager of operations, procurement and intellectual property at the South African Plant Improvement Organization.
He also acts as the head technical fruit expert on fruit for another group focused on plant breeding: the International Community of Breeders of Asexually Reproduced Ornamental and Fruit Plants (CIOPORA). There, he is a liaison to the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV).
“We are thrilled to have Burgert join Fall Creek in this leadership position. He has intimate knowledge of the nursery and genetics industry in Southern Africa.
He understands the needs of growers in the region and is uniquely qualified and experienced to facilitate the rapid introduction of Fall Creek's new blueberry genetics, technical support services, and commercialization models into the region,” says president and chief operating officer Oscar Verges.
Fall Creek focuses on the future of its blueberries
Van Dyck emphasizes his appreciation of the new role as well as his aims for the future.
“Fall Creek offered the professional challenge I was ready for,” says Van Dyk.
“My initial focus goes to build the team of exceptional professionals that will serve the needs of some of the most informed growers in the world.
"I’m really looking forward to bringing Fall Creek’s new, more open model and superior blueberry genetics to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and other neighboring countries where there are a lot of opportunities for economic development.”
Regarding the company's move to open a new nursery in the African nation, Verges elaborates on the forward-focused strategy.
“Fall Creek is investing in a South Africa nursery to serve the blueberry industry’s growth needs in the RSA and Sub-Saharan Africa region as a natural counter-seasonal supplier of blueberries to Europe and a main supplier of blueberries to Asia.”