The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) has appointed Stephanie van der Walt as the new country manager for IFPA Southern Africa. IFPA is the result of combining two produce industry organisations, namely the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), founded in 1949 and the United Fresh Produce Association (UFPA), founded in 1904.
In her new role, Van der Walt will focus on supporting IFPA's global impact through service to members, seeking opportunities to create greater value for Southern African members and providing insights into the needs of the Southern African market. As part of IFPA's global country manager team, Van der Walt will collaborate with international colleagues to create opportunities to connect IFPA's global markets.
She will also serve as IFPA's primary liaison with members, government agencies and other stakeholders in Southern Africa, as well as the IFPA Southern Africa Country Council.
Her international trade and investment law background, with over a decade of experience in the agricultural sector, will be invaluable in her new role and aligns well with IFPA's objectives.
"The benefit offered by industry associations lies in their unifying power and ability to generate critical mass, opening opportunities that would be inaccessible to individual actors," she says.
Van der Walt has worked in both the public and private spheres and has collaborated with international partners across the African continent and Global South. Most recently, Van der Walt headed the Centre of Excellence: Land Affairs at Agri South Africa (Agri SA), granting insight into the local and international policy landscape. Prior to that, she was General Manager: Fruit Industry at the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz), working on empowering fresh fruit producers to maintain and expand export market opportunities with a focus on Asia.