PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA — Peter Taljaard has been named chief executive officer of Grain SA. He will begin his duties on Sept. 1 for Jannie de Villiers, who is retiring at the end of August.
De Villers has spent the last 10 years as CEO of Grain SA, which provides commodity strategic support and services to South African grain producers.
Taljaard has served in a number of leadership capacities in recent years, most recently as the Cereals and Industrial Crops Go-to-market strategy lead at Bayer Crop Science. He worked with Grain SA for many years in his capacity at Bayer, Monsanto, NWK and as a lecturer at the University of the Free State (UFS).
“It was very crucial for Grain SA to make the right appointment that can lead the organization into the next era,” said Derek Mathews, chairperson of Grain SA. “Peter has vast experience in the grain sector and worked very closely with farmers.”
Taljaard obtained his PhD in agricultural economics at UFS and spent the past six years in the seed industry. He has been a part-time farmer for the past 19 years and has a trained background in agriculture and applied economics, specializing in consumer and production economics, econometrics as well as mathematical optimization.
De Villers, who joined Grain SA after a 24-year career with the South African Chamber of Milling, will have a lasting impact on the organization, Mathews said.
“I would like to use this opportunity to sincerely thank Jannie for his years of commitment and hard work to bring the organization to where it is today, as he now steps down as CEO,” Mathews said. “He will not be lost to agriculture and his mentorship and spiritual journey will continue to influence the industry in the times ahead.”