Suhanra Conradie, Mayda Sotomayor, Erin Meder, and Megan Zweig Bring Leadership to the Citrus Category and Summer Citrus from South Africa
- by Chandler James
SOUTH AFRICA & U.S. - Excellence in leadership is worth its weight in gold—or, in this case, citrus. With the Northern Hemisphere’s summer months on the horizon, Suhanra Conradie, Chief Executive Officer of Summer Citrus from South Africa (SCSA) took a beat to share her insights with the industry on a key element of the firm foundation from which the SCSA takes flight: leading women in produce.
“Each year that passes offers a reason to celebrate another year that we have been blessed with a prosperous crop. In 2019, we celebrated 20 years of success, which was a massive milestone for our group,” Conradie stated. “This year during the April planning session, I planned to celebrate women in produce because the reality is that the fresh produce industry is still a fairly male dominant industry. And within our unique collaboration, women are certainly an imperative part of our success.”
In honor of how far SCSA has come and the women helping to lead the charge along the way, Conradie shared this video below that speaks to the value, integrity, and passion that inspire us every day.
The video features Conradie herself, CEO of Seald Sweet Mayda Sotomayor, General Manager of Capespan North America Erin Meder, and Vice President of DMA Solutions, Megan Zweig.
For a quick breakdown of the vision and insight in this video, Sotomayor has been involved since the beginning of this program and she shares in the video that SCSA’s success has not come easy. Sotomayor has first-hand experience of the sustainability stories in the association’s area and knows the growers very well. She has played a major role in establishing citrus as a category, especially on the U.S. East Coast.
In this feature above, Meder opens up about the strength of the cohesive model and the stability SCSA created and the fact that it has actually helped the program to grow. She focuses on the fact that this is a quality-focused commodity in the U.S. and the fact that this will help gain market share.
Zweig speaks to the essential role DMA has played in SCSA’s re-branding, allowing SCSA to supply with confidence on the world stage! Megan pays close attention to the domestic citrus season and identifies the opportunities to drive demand for South African fruit during the summer months.
"I celebrated my tenth year with this group and we have achieved a lot. I will always focus on the amount of effort and planning that actually goes into executing this program with excellence. This group (on both the U.S. and South African side) is basically a group of competitors collaborating for the greater good of the program/industry," Conradie stated. "The famous Magic Johnson has said that competitors make you better and I see other sources of citrus as rivalries, which means we are always making each better. I thrive on that!"
A huge thank you to Summer Citrus from South Africa for all that you do for the industry and to the women that elevate the bar across fresh produce every day!