Ownership and Governance

Plantovita is a private company mainly belonging to seed potato growers in terms of shareholding. The shares of the potato seed growers are owned on their behalf by private laboratory companies belonging to the growers in the respective production regions. The Dry Bean Producers Organisation also owns shares due to the laboratory services regarding the certification of dry bean seeds provided by Plantovita.

The afore-mentioned private laboratory companies own 90% of the shares and the Dry Bean Producers Organisation owns 10%. The distribution of ownership is based on the percentage contribution of each of the shareholders to the turnover of the company over a predetermined period.

Every shareholder is represented on the Board of Directors of Plantovita by a Director of the laboratory company or organisation owning shares in Plantovita. Potatoes South Africa is represented by two Directors on the Board but owns no shares in the company. The Chairman of the Board of Directors is elected as an independent. Notwithstanding the percentage distribution of regions represented, the Directors have an equal say as far as decision-making is concerned.

At present the Board of Directors is constituted as follows:

Gavin HillChairmanIndependent
JJ MelletVice-ChairmanSolani Labs (Pty) Ltd
Gerhard PosthumusDirectorWesgrow Potatoes (Edms) Bpk
Mike GreenDirectorKwaZulu-Natal Laboratory Services (Pty) Ltd
Johan van GreunenDirectorSandveld-laboratoriumdienste (Edms) Bpk
Andre CoetzeeDirectorNoord- Kaap-laboratoriumdienste (Edms) Bpk
Chris KleingeldDirectorDry Bean Producers’ Organisation
Dr Fienie NiederwieserDirectorPotatoes South Africa
Jan van ZylDirectorPotatoes South Africa

There is also an Executive Committee consisting of the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman, the Chief Executive Officer and the Principal Technician.

A Chief Executive Officer is appointed by the Board of Directors and manages the company under the leadership of the Board. Although on the permanent payroll of Messrs Plantovita, the Chief Executive Officer also fills the position of Manager: Laboratory Services. At present this position is held by Marieta Botha. The Chief Executive Officer submits reports to formal meetings of the Board of Directors biannually.

Plantovita is managed technically by a Technical Manager, Anel Espach. The Technical Manager also fulfils this position nationally in the interests of Potato Laboratory Service and is therefore responsible for the technical welfare of the laboratories in the group.