Pieter du Toit receives prestigious OSH Reinecke Frontrunner Award

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Pieter du Toit, executive director of the Dutoit Group, has been awarded the prestigious OSH Reinecke Frontrunner Award for 2024 by Hortgro, the industry association representing South Africa’s deciduous fruit growers.

Du Toit is the third family member to receive this award, an accolade that honours industry leaders within the deciduous fruit industry who have excelled in a leadership role over an extended period of time.

“Pieter is widely regarded as a visionary and strategic thinker. Someone who can develop large businesses successfully and profitably. One of his strongest qualities is to apply his financial knowledge within a business environment,” says Anton Rabe, Hortgro’s executive director. He notes that the agricultural sector often fails to sufficiently acknowledge individuals who have dedicated significant time and service to the industry.

“With these longstanding prestigious awards, Hortgro seeks to recognise excellence and selfless service to the pome and stone fruit industries. The recipients of this year’s award categories contribute to an already impressive list of individuals who made their mark in agriculture,” he says.

Read more about navel orange exports here.

Making impact

In his career to date, du Toit has played an important role as a director across various agricultural entities, as well as within the deciduous fruit industry organisation, where he was a board member of the South African Apple and Pear Producers Association for a decade, initially serving as vice-chairman and then as chairman between 1994 and 1996. He has also served on several boards, including Unifruco, Capespan and a large commercial bank’s advisory committee.

“I am deeply grateful to accept this award, a recognition that truly belongs to the entire team at Dutoit Group. Every member and partner played a crucial role in our shared success,” says du Toit. “As a leading farming, packing, marketing and distribution enterprise, we recognise that our employees underpin the core of the business and that it is our social responsibility to empower and support the people in the communities we operate in. These values are rooted in our family heritage, with fourth and fifth-generation Du Toit family members actively contributing to our daily operations”.

Some milestones achieved under du Toit’s leadership include the growth of Dutoit Group as a company that markets to 42 countries, the conversion in marketing from a one-channel system to a deregulated industry, the establishment of various cooling plants at Dutoit and other companies where he served as a director, and the associated modernisation of packaging plants under his leadership.

Over the years, du Toit has remained intensely involved in industry operational functions, with his door always remaining open to those seeking his advice or assistance in resolving sensitive issues.

“As an industry leader, Pieter du Toit embodies the spirit of OSH Reinecke Frontrunner Award and is therefore a worthy recipient,” says Rabe. This award, presented to an industry leader every year since 1972, motivates industry leaders to excel, set an example for other stakeholders and promote the interests of the deciduous fruit industry at a national and international level. – Press release, Hortgro

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