Pack Family Career Pathways Program

International partnership provides mentorship to South African students

South Africa's Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum (WCCPF) and Seald Sweet International partnered to provide mentoring, career counselling, and professional connections to students from two South African universities.

Steve Tursi, vice president, business development of Seald Sweet International (right) meets with Ms. Tineil Hurter, (left) a student from South Africa's University of Pretoria. She will graduate later this year with a degree in Horticultural Economics

Suhanra Conradie, chief executive officer of the WCCPF and Steve Tursi, vice president, business development of Seald Sweet International are serving as part of the annual Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Foundation for Industry Talent Pack Family Career Pathways Program. The students visited the U.S. and attended PMA's annual Fresh Summit in New Orleans, La.

"Seald Sweet and South African Summer Citrus have long been partners to bring the citrus to the U.S.," said Mr. Tursi. "It is exciting to hear the students' enthusiasm and hopes for themselves and their country, and providing connections and counsel on how to achieve their goals. I expect to see them in future having created well-established careers."

Suhanra Conradie, CEO of the Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum (left) and Mr. Abdul Kareem Abderoof, (right) a senior studying Soil Science & Horticulture at South Africa's University of Stellenbosch, point in the direction of their homes in South Africa. Ms. Conradie is a mentor to Mr. Abderoof and will provide professional connections to him as he prepares for graduation next year

While meeting first in New Orleans, the students and their mentors remain in contact after returning to their universities. Both Ms. Conradie and Mr.Tursi have arranged for the students to connect with various professionals in the produce and agricultural industries in South Africa and will be available as the students complete their degree programs.

In its 10th year, the Pack Family Career Pathways Program is designed to attract and educate college students who are interested in the fresh produce industry. This year, 41 students and 13 faculty members from 13 universities from around the country and world participated in the program. They receive an industry orientation and mentor, who provide networking opportunities, and first-hand insights and knowledge about the fresh produce industry.

For more information:
Lisa Packer
Root Strategies
Tel: +1 (610)688-3164

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