Hannes de Waal SRCC

Hannes de Waal with citrus pickers at SRCC

South Africa's Citrus Growers’ Association (CGA) has announced the election of Hannes De Waal as its new chairperson, serving a two-year term.

De Waal is CEO of the Sunday River Valley Citrus Company (SRCC), one of South Africa’s leading citrus growing, packaging and marketing groups.

He has been a member of the board since 2017, serving as vice-chairperson for the past two years.

With over 26 years of experience in the citrus industry, De Waal first joined the Outspan team at the Durban Container Port terminal.

He held various positions over 17 years within the Capespan group, mostly relating to procurement, marketing and logistics, before joining SRCC in 2011 and becoming managing and then CEO.

De Waal also serves as the chairman of Venco, a young business specialising in the manufacturing of juice and oil concentrate, as well as chairman of the Citrus Producer Forum in Sundays River Valley.

”During the last decade I have had the pleasure of observing the growth and resilience of a valley of smaller farmers who have worked hard to build professional businesses, distributing high quality fruit into local and foreign market,' said De Waal. 'I am a firm believer that South Africa’s agricultural sector is one in which benefits are enjoyed by all members of the value and supply chain – this is something we must continue to build on.”

Justin Chadwick, CEO of the CGA, said that De Waal brought a wealth of experience to his new role, and had served in various leadership positions in the citrus industry over many years.

“I look forward to continuing our work together, with the aim of furthering the interests of our citrus growers when it comes to expanding market access and creating an inclusive, profitable and sustainable industry.”

When it came to his vision for the role, De Waal said the process of establishing strategy was well structured within the CGA.

“This is the result of a strong team effort that feeds off the fact that all board members are experienced citrus producers and businessmen,' he explained. 'I hope to leverage their strengths to expand our transformation initiatives, while helping our local citrus industry grow by gaining, retaining and optimising our market access opportunities in an inclusive and profitable manner.

'This is just what our industry needs to continue growing from strength to strength,' De Waal added. 'This will of course have to be accompanied by a strategic plan that addresses the many logistical and shipping challenges faced by our growers.”

De Waal replaces well-known citrus personality, Cornel van der Merwe, as chairman, who will continue as one of the two deputy chairman on the board of the CGA.

The second deputy chairman is Western Cape citrus grower Gerrit van der Merwe, from the ALG Group.