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About Morkel

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Morkel Combrink Morkel Combrink is a seasoned agricultural businessman and turn-around strategist with a post graduate degree in Soil Science as well as a Master in Business Management. He worked his way up through the ranks from junior research assistant to Managing Director, serving on various Boards. Morkel was involved with the processing industry at Langeberg Foods, the seed production and marketing companies Starke Ayres and Northern Transvaal Co-operative, the post-harvest industry at Degesch SA (Pty) Ltd, as well as operating in the fruit exports marketing and regulatory environment in Outspan, Capespan and The Fruitman (Pty) Ltd. He has been instrumental in changing the citrus and soft fruit industry from a single channel marketing entity to marketing through various different channels. Morkel was the first Product Manager to be appointed in OUTSPAN and he travelled extensively overseas and has a vast knowledge of the different intricacies of the customers in various countries. He headed the task team to get market access for citrus into the USA and was part of the China task team, opening the official China channel through detailed information dissemination to the growers and assisting them on a continuous basis to adhere to all the correct protocols. During this period he also assisted the Boards and senior management with the merger between Outspan and Unifruco to form Capespan. His personality afforded him the rare position to be both on the employer as well as the employee monitor groups to ensure that the process be fair and equitable to all parties involved. It was during this period that the Citrus Growers Association was established as it was realized that market access and research go hand in hand and that the load of the costs of the research has to be borne by all the companies exporting out of South Africa and not just the traditional company ie. Outspan International. It was realized that South Africa, with the amount of citrus fruit that were going to come out of South Africa, did not have the necessary market access for all the forthcoming volumes. Research and Market access go hand in hand and is vital to any industry if they want to be sustainable and profitable into the future. Another vital position that had to be established was that market access and research had to be separated from the companies that were marketing the various product lines overseas. The reason for that was that there could be serious scenarios of conflict that could develop and that the grower body had to control that. One champion from the grower ranks and industry travelled all over Southern Africa to hold meetings in order to get buy-in for the process. This was a model that grew into the Citrus Growers’ Association, a model that is a monument for the fruit industry globally as one of success till today. During this period Morkel completed his MBA in strategic thinking and was head-hunted to turn around a failing German subsidiary in post-harvest chemicals. Cartels and syndications had to be dealt with and the company was turned around from a net loss, closing down scenario, to a highly profitable entity in 2 years. He did this through proper market segmentation, differentiation and target marketing. After Degesch, he successfully started and grew a export company, The Fruitman, growing it into the 15th biggest exporter of fruit in a matter of 5 years, concentrating on high end marketing and dedicated, focused attention on the logistical chain, monitoring and minimizing the costs involved on a continuous basis. After leaving The Fruitman, Morkel started operating as business consultant and market researcher on various agricultural related industries and has successfully assisted various Non- Government Organisations in formulating strategies for Small and Medium Enterprises. He has more recently been involved with one of the leading ERP companies in agriculture as an account manager. Morkel is an out of the box strategic thinker, focusing on continuous improvement strategies on all levels of involvement. References: Cacho Cabral: (***)-***-**** JL (Cacho) Cabral has been involved in the South African fruit industry since 1984. State President’s Award Winner for Export Achievement. Founder Director of: Deciduous Fruit Exporters Forum, Citrus Exporters Forum and Fresh Produce Exporters Forum. Currently Director of Educate to Grow (Agricolleges). Former Honorary Consul of Uruguay, Peru and Chile. Director of MK Freight Systems Pty Ltd. Director of TakeOff Aviation Pty Ltd. Burgert van Rooyen: (***)-***-**** First Generation Citrus Farmer since 1984 He served on various Boards of Farmer organizations during this period. He was elected as member on the Outspan board (1996). After the merger of Outspan and Unifruco (Cape) in 1998, he was elected as a Capespan board member (1999 – 2011) and served on various sub-committees of Capespan. Important events during the time on both the Outspan/Capespan boards: The de-regulation of the one channel marketing system marketing. The forming of the Citrus Growers Association John Stanbury: (***)-***-****. Retired MD of Outspan and Capespan International. Director on various Boards across various industries.

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