A former executive at PPECB has been appointed as the new chief executive of the South African Plant Improvement Organization (SAPO Trust).
New CEO Shawn Coetzee has served in a number of senior management positions during this 23-year tenure at the Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB).
More recently, he has held the position of senior manager: food safety and technical services responsible for a number of business units and strategic programmes within the PPECB business.
Coetzee is a MBA graduate from the University of Stellenbosch and will take over from Burgert van Dyk who acted as CEO during the past six months.
The SAPO Trust is the modern version of the original South African Plat Improvement Organisation founded by the deciduous, canning and dried fruit sectors during the closing years under leadership of the legendary Alex van Niekerk, previous chairman of the Deciduous Fruit Board.
Its original function was multiplying virus free plant material for the industry at its isolated farm, Excelcior, in the Koue Bokkeveld region of Ceres.
It eventually relocated to the farm Fleurbaix near Stellenbosch when Excelsior proved not to be suitable for products such as table grapes.
SAPO’s mother blocks were also decentralised across the industry and more recently SAPO has also entered the field of importing new varieties and managing them in South Africa.