SOUTH AFRICA – The Citrus Growers’ Association (CGA) has appointed Albert Coetzee as the new Industry Affairs Manager (IAM) to steer sustainable operations within his scope of duty.

Albert steps into the vacant role created when Paul Hardman moved into the recently created COO position at CGA.

Albert comes with fruit industry experience having worked in an integrated citrus and grape export business and at a fruit industry data (e.g. benchmarking) service provider.

He will be working mostly out of the Western Cape. His initial focus will be on sustainability matters and project work within Vision 260.

In addition, Albert will be working closely with Paula Bester focusing more on keeping up with the Food Safety requirements.

The nature of the IAM will require Albert to stand by to tackle industry issues as and when they arise.

“We wish Albert all the very best and look forward to his contribution to the citrus industry,” commented Justin Chadwick, CEO of CGA in the announcement post.

Community empowerment and development through education

Meanwhile, CGA is giving back to the community through an education program run by Citrus Academy.

The program aims to provide learners at high schools in citrus-producing regions with the opportunity to complete a qualification in citrus production by the time they finish school.

It will be implemented country-wide in 2024, and the schools that will be participating have been finalized.

Sixteen schools in South Africa will implement the program, in Bonnievale and Riversdale in the Western Cape, Patensie, Kirkwood, and Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape, Umzimkulu in KwaZulu-Natal, Kakamas in the Northern Cape, and Hoedspruit, Namitwa, and Tzaneen in the Limpopo province.

CGA forecasts that an estimated 300 learners will enroll in the program.

“If you know of a school in your region that might be interested or want more information, please email Jacomien de Klerk at jacomien@citrusacademy.org.za,” reads the statement by CGA.

The CGA, established by citrus growers in 1997, represents the interests of the producers of export citrus IN South Africa.  

In total approximately 1400 growers throughout the country (including Zimbabwe and Swaziland) are members of the Association. 

The association maximizes the long-term profitability of its members by providing the industry with access to global markets, and optimizing cost-effective production of quality fruit.

It also ensures continual commitment to research, development, and communication with all stakeholders, and implements strategies to caring for the environment and the community within which they operate.

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