Fanie Naude, a grower from the Hex River Valley has been chosen as SATI’s new chairman to replace the late Michiel Laubscher, who passed away recently following a motor cycle accident near Worcester in the Western Cape.
Speaking from the Hex Valley, Naude paid tribute to his predecessor and said Laubscher made a huge contribution to the industry, both nationally and in the Hex Valley.
“We have some big shoes to fill and there is important work ahead," said Naude. "The past two months have been difficult for us but we need to proceed with the solid foundations previously laid.”
Naude outlined that unity in the industry to deal with the natural risks arising from greater market access was one of the main priorities for his term as SATI chairperson.
“We are in a growth phase and one of the most important tasks continues to be opening new marketing opportunities for South African table grapes," Naude continued. "I look forward to working with SATI’s highly qualified management team in pursuing all these initiatives.
"In South Africa there are opportunities in transformation which we simply have to seize in order to contribute to stability and a growing economy in which our industry can make a real contribution," he noted. "We need to approach the challenges associated with this in a positive atmosphere.”
Fanie Naude is one of the young generation table grape growers and a member of the Naude family from Denau in the Hex Valley. Denau is a family business and producer, packer and exporter of table grapes and citrus. Denau Fruit Farms grows table grapes and citrus.
The founder of the Denau business was Pieter Naudé, who started farming in 1976 on the farm Welgemoed. As a result of this pioneering initiative Pieter Naudé was named Western Cape Farmer of the year in 1999 and he is still chairman of the board of Denau.
Fanie Naude is a sixth generation table grape grower and is, along with his brother Marinus, managing the family business.