After a tenure of just over a year and a half at the organisation, Reitsma provided a valuable contribution by way of fast tracking a number of initiatives. Not least of which included the inclusion of its Annual Report, including detail statistics, prior to the AGM on its website; an inaugural Golf Day during the last Congress; a number of carbon footprint and social responsibility projects associated with the Congresses; and the signing of several Memorandum of Understandings with AgriSETA, USAID (United States Agency – International Development), SATH (Southern Africa Trade Hub) and FANRPAN (Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network).
He also drove the adoption of the new Memorandum of Incorporation in line with the latest legislation for NPC’s and the adjustment of new categories of membership to make SANSOR a more inclusive organisation. According to SANSOR chairman and managing director of Advance Seed, Brian Lever, Reitsma added real value to the organisation in his position of general manager and will be missed by the organisation and the industry at large.
Over the last 18 months SANSOR has also become a partner with USAID in private sector training within Africa, is ready to launch a pilot test for its SETA accredited training, has initiated online seed certification, redrafted the South African Seed Certification Scheme, adjusted internal policies for easier workflow and launched a new SANSOR website.
Other areas where Gerrie had a direct influence included a new process for collecting membership fees, resulting in 90% of membership fees for the current year being paid up by the time of the AGM in May this year; personal visitations by the general manager to members and workshops with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and its officials during the SANSOR Annual Congress in May of 2012.
“Gerrie has assisted us in paving the way, and building the support structures we have needed to modernise and stimulate SANSOR as an organisation. We now have a basis from which SANSOR and a newly appointed general manager can really build off of, through strengthening our member base, launching new initiatives and driving the agenda of the local seed community in South Africa,” states Lever.
A private not for profit company established in 1989, SANSOR’s objective include: representing the seed trade nationally and internationally; liaising with parties relevant to the seed trade such as government, institutes, universities, etc.; acquiring and analysing statistics and trends; facilitate consultation and training for members in line with national and international standards; to act as a licensing body for cultivars of seed crops developed by the Agricultural Research Council (ARC); assist with the collection of industry-related statistics; promote the use of good quality seed as well as high standards of ethical conduct by way of having all its members subscribe to a code of conduct and a mission statement.