The Produce Marketing Association welcomes new representative

The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) recently announced the resignation of Marianne van der Laarse as its Southern Africa representative.

When PMA was launched in this country a few years ago, Marianne was appointed to nurture it through its early days. She had a long history in the fresh produce business and this proved invaluable as she built the local ‘branch’ of the PMA from scratch into a leading organisation.

Among her many achievements was the introduction of the PMA Agri-Food Career Fairs. These were launched at the University of Pretoria and are now held at Stellenbosch University and the University of KwaZulu-Natal as well. These annual events remain the only real showcase for young people wanting to pursue a career in agriculture or agribusiness.

The good news from PMA is that although Marianne has resigned as its SA representative, she will continue organising the career fairs and is already hard at work on the upcoming fair on 19 and 20 May at the University of Pretoria.

New general manager
Lindie Stroebel has taken over from Marianne. As many readers will know, Lindie previously worked at Agbiz, where she played a key role as the manager of economic intelligence.

“With Lindie’s drive, experience, networking and communication skills, we’re strongly positioned to deliver even more value to all our stakeholders in the fresh produce value channel,” says Tommie van Zyl, CEO of ZZ2 and chairperson of PMA’s SA Country Council.

Richard Owen, vice-president of Global Business Development, concurred that Lindie’s participation would be “substantial”.

Poised to make a mark

The PMA can be proud of its achievements to date and is set on reaching even greater heights in the regional and international fresh produce sectors. With these two highly competent people making their contributions, I have no doubt we’ll witness exciting developments in the years ahead.

Michael Cordes is an agricultural journalist, consultant, trainer and former farmer.