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Grain SA CEO bids farewell

03 Jul 2023

Letter from Pieter Taljaard
Grain SA CEO

This day came a lot sooner than I ever thought or anticipated. An opportunity that arose unasked. Personally, what I have seen, experienced and learned in life is that when such an opportunity comes knocking at one's door and specifically the way this happened, it’s meant to be, that it is, from God above. My family and I have decided to pursue an opportunity to go and work and live in Canada.

In terms of the road ahead decided on for the Grain SA Group of Entities, it will be to start the process to search for the best CEO candidate. Given the restructuring that the Grain SA Group was forced to undergo in the last two years, due to tax laws and regulations, this is a unique opportunity for GSA to think differently on how best to drive the value proposition of this organisation and the role and responsibilities it serves, not only for grain and oilseed farmers, but specifically also in the broader Organized Agricultural fraternity, the food and fibre value chain as well as society at large.

It has been a great privilege and experience to be the CEO of GSA. It was indeed an enjoyable learning curve, and I must say, I did meet a lot of new people and made a lot of new friends. It’s been a hard and sad decision, but at this stage of my career, it’s really the last opportunity given my age, as I am turning 45 next month to go on an adventure like this. Especially also given that we can experience this as a family together with our two teenage children.

As you know, I am a passionate Agriculturalist and that's what I am planning to continue to do for the rest of my career. I have accepted an opportunity to manage a grain and oilseed farm on the eastern border of Saskatchewan, Canada. In addition, the farm operation is also vertically integrated into innovative technology development of hardware and cloud-based collaboration software.

I wish to thank each friend and colleague of mine for the collaboration and camaraderie we could have shared in the South African Agriculture sector during the last 26 years. I will always remain a child of Africa and am planning to be back annually to enjoy the great African outdoors during the cold Canadian months.
Yours sincerely
Pieter Taljaard
Outgoing CEO, Grain SA

Letter from Derek Mathews
Grain SA Chairman

The Grain SA Board (Hoofbestuur) met today to consider the news of Dr Taljaard and his family deciding to relocate to Canada where he was offered a position. It was a shock to us all, but we do understand and accept that he and his family need to do what is right for them and that it is a great opportunity for them. 
Canada’s gain is most certainly Grain SA and South Africa’s loss. We will most certainly miss the contribution Pieter was busy making in GSA. 

The Board (Hoofbestuur) has appointed a committee, who will now start to find the best candidate to lead the GSA group as CEO.  “Grain SA has wonderfully talented and exceptionally committed personnel and I have all the confidence that we will manage this transition and continue to serve our members at the same levels of professionalism and care we have all become accustomed to”. 

One thing that Pieter has taught us in his short time with us, is to “look for the opportunity” in every situation. This extremely positive characteristic is sometimes even scary.  I do know that a person or an organisation won’t grow in a comfort zone. As organisation we will now do the best we can, to find the best person to lead us into the next chapter of this organisation we have all come to love.  Grain SA is built on very solid foundations, and we will withstand the winds of change, even when they blow as hard and fast as they are now. 

Pieter, we wish you, Hilana, Dieter-Uys and Jennily all the best and God’s speed and blessings as you write your new chapter.