Demonstrating their commitment to transformation and diversity, United Exports Group has appointed two A-team businesswomen to lead their strategic initiatives on sustainability and transformation. Core to this strategy is the OZblu Academy which will focus on education on many levels.
Newly appointed Emily Hendriks and Rowen Markie, who will join the group in the new year, will lead these initiatives. “We are delighted with the appointment of the calibre of these candidates who will help bring us closer to our goal of becoming the benchmark for work on sustainability, the environment and transformation in the agriculture industry,” says Roger Horak, founder and global CEO of United Exports.
Both roles are executive functions at United Exports which provide a shared service to the OZblu farms owned and operated by the group, as well as the licensed growers. The critical areas of focus will be strategy, sustainable business practices, transformation (corporate social responsibility), community projects and diversity. This will be applied at a business level and in the local community which is supporting the farming operation with staffing.
Hendriks brings to the team her more than 15 years of experience as an arbitration lawyer working for both the National Empowerment Fund and the Constitution Hill Education Project – a project that provides individuals with resources and space for defining their place in a changing South Africa.
Heading up the transformation part of the business, Hendriks will lead and oversee the implementation of the OZblu Academy. This academy, amongst other things, aims to provide bursary assistance to previously disadvantaged individuals in the agriculture sector. She will oversee the development of the specific OZblu curriculum by working with a content partner for the core agricultural components and with a technical team for the proprietary content.
Hendriks will also identify opportunities for the transformation of the business and specifically focussing on individuals. She will also be creating successful sustainable community projects.
Markie has 20 years’ experience in the fruit industry having fulfilled roles in the commercial, technical and compliance divisions. She has a burning passion for driving sustainability, transformation and environmental issues.
As a board member of the Sustainable Initiative of South Africa (SIZA), Markie will head up the sustainability part of the business. She will be responsible for identifying the best practices and opportunities which will drive sustainable business practices. Markie is also part of the working group responsible for the creation and implementation of the SIZA environmental standard in conjunction with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). – Press release