South Africa's table grape industry association has announced a new CEO, AJ Griesel.
The South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) said Griesel would early in the new year take over the reins from Willem Bestbier, who’s retirement as CEO was announced in May 2021
Bestbier committed himself to be available and to support AJ until a smooth and complete handover has been secured, SATI said.
Griesel is well known in the agricultural sector, he has broad experience in primary and commercial agriculture where he served and led in senior positions for several years. He has been working at Kaap Agri Limited since 2014 and is in the position of Director: Trade and Services at Kaap Agri Bedryf Limited since 2018.
He holds the degrees B.Com in management accounting and MBA both from Stellenbosch University. He started his career in well-known entrepreneurial agricultural businesses, which include the Laastedrif and Koelfontein farms.
He describes himself as someone with a passion for agriculture and he proudly associates him with the industry, its people and its places. The recruitment and appointment of AJ was led by SATI’s Appointment Committee, which was ably assisted by Exceed HR.
According to Anton Viljoen, Chairman of SATI, it was important to appoint a person that can take and lead the industry and organisation to the next level in the current challenging, but also exciting times. He believes AJ will bring a commercial urgency to the table, which is required now.
Viljoen further thanked Willem Bestbier, who over the past eight years endeavoured himself to serve the primary interests of table grape producers and to align the organisation accordingly.
“Our industry is entering a challenging era where we have to compete successfully with a quality product in world markets. We are thankful to have AJ on board and I believe that our industry will welcome and support him,” said Viljoen.