A decade of investing in South African soil
“Adventure!” This is the word that motivated Frank Enthoven, co-founder, and Managing Director, and Ingrid Enthoven, co-founder, of Koppert South Africa to bring the best Dutch innovation roots and plant them firmly in South African soil. This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Koppert South Africa – a decade of helping farmers on the sunny tip of Africa become Partners with Nature.
After visiting South Africa for the first time in 1995, the country and its’ people made such an impression on Frank that he returned in 2007. He and Ingrid established their first company, Vistaverde, in 2010, and finally started Koppert South Africa in August 2012. Taking to the road, he spent hours, days, months, and years building relationships with farmers across the country. Hard work steadily built a strong foundation client base with Blueberry Hill (East London), Tokoza Roses (Badplaas), Unex Roses (Delmas), Stols Roses (Bothaville), and De Groen Oase (Trawal). Joining Frank on the journey was firstly Ada Slootweg and later Maureen Molepolle. As the company started to grow and expand a core management team was established which today includes along with Frank; JP van Wyk, Financial Manager; Jean-Mare Truter, Research & Development Manager; and Cornelius Oosthuizen, Marketing & Technical Manager. From one determined Dutchman with a vision to make the world a better place to now employing 20 staff and growing strong, Koppert South Africa is on a mission to help South African agriculture and horticulture be healthier, safer, and more productive.
Looking back at the past 10 years, Frank believes the steady global shift towards biological products in Agri & Horti has been instrumental in Koppert South Africa’s growth. There have been very difficult times for the company, Frank remembers: “The winter months in the early years delivered no income. In the last few years, we had to face COVID and now the war in Europe. But through all the difficult times we put our head down, worked hard, stayed frugal, and always looked for new avenues and possibilities to create sales.” Frank’s passion for the work Koppert does and the values it represents is clear: “I really like the people we get to work with in agriculture and horticulture – they are the salt of the earth. Also, it is great to deliver a product that has a positive impact on people and the planet. That is what Koppert South Africa stands for – good people and making the world a better place.” And when it comes to learning from other partners across the world, Frank just laughs! “They must come and learn from us! In South Africa, there is a unique persistence and pioneering spirit. As they say in Afrikaans “‘n Boer maak ‘n plan”( a farmer makes a plan) mentality.”
Looking ahead at the next decade? “We have only begun – Koppert South Africa will keep growing and expanding. I look forward to many years of working with interesting people and developing new products that are safe for people and the environment” Frank concludes.