The CEO of Grain SA (GSA) announced his resignation this week after accepting a position in Canada.
Pieter Taljaard (44) has been the head of the organization since 2021 after taking over the reins from Jannie de Villiers.
“This day came much faster than I ever thought or expected,” says Taljaard.
“Personally, what I have seen and experienced in life is that when such an opportunity comes knocking on one’s door and specifically the way it happened, it is meant to be, it is from God above.”
Taljaard says it was nevertheless a difficult and sad decision to make. However, given his age and the stage of his career, he is reassured in the knowledge that this is the last opportunity “to go on an adventure like this”.
Taljaard will henceforth manage a grain and oilseed farm on the eastern border of Saskatchewan in Canada.
His wife, Hilana, and two teenage children, Dieter-Uys and Jennily, are also ready for the big adventure.
“I will always remain a child of Africa and plan to come back annually to enjoy the great African outdoors during the cold Canadian months.”
Derek Mathews, chairman of GSA, says it was a shock for the entire management when Taljaard shared the news of his resignation with them.
“We do understand and accept that he and his family have to do what is right for them and that this is a wonderful opportunity for them,” he says.
“Canada’s gain is certainly Grain SA and South Africa’s loss.”
The process to appoint a new chief executive for GSA will start shortly.
“GSA has wonderfully talented and exceptionally dedicated staff and I have every confidence that we will manage this transition and continue to serve our members with the same level of professionalism and care that we have all grown accustomed to,” says Mathews.
“Graan SA is built on very solid foundations and we will withstand the winds of change, even when they blow as hard and fast as now.”
According to Taljaard, the search for a new chief executive is the golden opportunity for GSA to “think differently about how to best drive the value proposition of this organization as well as its role and responsibilities. Not only for grain and oilseed producers, but specifically also in the wider organized agricultural community, the food and fiber value chain as well as for our country’s food consumers in general”.