Hein studied Marketing Management at Boland College. After working abroad (England, Germany, Ireland, USA) for three years, he returned to study at Stellenbosch University and completed a BSc Agric degree with Soil Science and Horticulture as major subjects, followed by a MSc Agric (cum laude) in Horticulture. During his studies, Hein worked at the Soil Science department on a part time basis, doing field and lab work and in his final study year lectured a module on Pomology to third year students at Elsenburg College.
After completion of his studies, Hein joined Farmsecure Agriscience (FAS) as Horticulturist, specializing on citrus production practices. During his time at FAS, he consulted to citrus growers in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Kwa Zulu Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces as well as abroad in Egypt and Argentina.
In 2014 Hein and Jennilyn started First Fruits Consulting (FFC). FFC focusses expressly on citrus, with the aim to be able to provide specialist advice on production practices to citrus producers locally and abroad.
Hein is a Professional Natural Scientist with SACNASP since 2012. He completed his AVCASA certification in 2014.
Jennilyn completed a BSc degree at the University of Stellenbosch in 2008.
She was later employed as a technical assistant at Farmsecure Agriscience for the citrus team. During this time she assisted with administration, technical data, setting up of nutrition programmes and field work.
Jennilyn and Hein started Firstfruits Consulting in 2014 where she initially headed up the technical, administration and financial departments. She is currently a director of Firstfruits Farming and Project Manager at Firstfruits Consulting, as well as a mother of 3 girls.
Eugenie worked as data capturer at ColorsFruit for a year after matric where she became interested in horticulture. She obtained her BSc Agric degree (cum laude) in Horticultural Science and Soil Science in 2007 at Stellenbosch University. During study holidays, Eugenie worked for table grape growers in Augrabies and for EuraFruit in Stellenbosch. She went on to complete her MSc Agric (cum laude) in Horticultural Science with a focus on protea in March 2010. During her MSc she lectured plant propagation to second year students at Stellenbosch University and post-harvest physiology to third year students at Elsenburg Agricultural College.
After working for Ocean Agriculture for 18 months as fertilizer consultant she joined the team at Arnelia Farms, a Proteaceae and Chamelaucium cut flower farm and nursery, as Technical Manager. While working she completed her PhD in Horticultural Science on growth manipulations of Leucospermum cut flowers in 2019.
Eugenie completed her AVCASA certification in 2019 and is a Professional Natural Scientist with SACNASP.
Eugenie is now part of FFC as Operational Manager, Protea and Citrus consultant.
Du Toit Prins
Du Toit Prins has recently joined FirstFruits Consulting as a soil scientist and citrus consultant.
He grew up with a love for agriculture from a young age due to the influence of his grandfather, who farmed outside Stellenbosch. He started his agricultural training at Stellenbosch University by obtaining his BSc Agric in Soil Science and Horticultural Science in 2015. In 2018 he completed his MSc Agric degree in Horticultural Science evaluating shade netting in citrus production. After he completed his studies, Du Toit started working as a technical manager for a prominent citrus producing company. He formed part of a technical team involved with integrated pest and disease management, irrigation scheduling, fertilization, crop manipulations and new orchard designs in Citrusdal, the Sandveld and Lutzville. His passion for agricultural science and farming led to the next step in his career and he joined the FFC team.
Du Toit continues adding value to the citrus industry through sound scientific advice to enable the production of high-quality citrus fruit and is a Professional Natural Scientist with SACNASP.
JD Botma grew up in Vanrhynsdorp and from a young age loved being outdoors and surrounded by nature. He realised in high school that he was interested in agriculture and decided to study agriculture. He obtained a BSc Agric degree from Stellenbosch University in 2018 majoring in Horticulture and Soil Science.
JD started his career at an agricultural consultancy company as Soil Scientist, where he deepened his knowledge of soil classification, soil mapping, irrigation systems and soil preparation. JD worked all over South Africa, as well as in some African countries and got exposure to a lot of different soil types and climates and was able see how different types of fruit trees react under different circumstances.
JD seized the opportunity to work as a consultant for First Fruits Consulting to be able to apply his knowledge of soil and horticulture in order to be an asset to citrus farmers in every possibly way.
Dirk Klaase joined our Precision Farming team in 2019 as Precision Services Technician. Dirk was previously a citrus farm manager and has gained valuable experience in citrus production practices. Dirk excels in leadership roles and manages the execution of infield precision services.
Jorika Cronje obtained a degree in soil science and a MScAgric degree in Horticulture from the University of Stellenbosch. She started her career at Agricultural Consultors International (ACIcc), later owned by Farmsecure, where she worked for eight years as soil scientist and horticulturist. In 2014, Jorika decided to combine her love for agriculture and her experience of the field to continue as an independent consultant that specializes in soil science and horticulture.
Jorika is experienced in soil classification and new orchard development as well as crop related technical advice for pome and stone fruit, table grapes, vineyards, citrus and alternative crops. Jorika consulted to growers in Turkish citrus production regions for 3 years. During this time she assisted with training of technical advisors from Turkey, Argentina and Chile.
Jorika consults to Firstfruits Consulting stone fruit clients, as well as conducting soil surveys and compiling new orchard development reports.
Jorika is registered as a Professional Natural Scientist with SACNASP since 2013.
Nico Wasserall obtained a degree in B.Sc Conservation Ecology with soil science and a M.Sc. Agric degree in Soil Science from the University of Stellenbosch.
He started his career at Farmsecure as a member of the precision soil science team, where he worked for one year before working at Agrimotion for 3 years.
In 2017, Nico decided to start Agri-Infinitum with the main objective to add value through scientific principles and practical advice to clients and farmers in the fruit industry. Using a holistic approach through the integration of scientific principles and practical solutions, the most sustainable and economically viable outcome for the client is identified.
An independent approach enables Nico to partner with the necessary organizations and people required to ensure the optimal outcome is achieved.
Nico focuses on the planning of new orchards with a focus on soil potential and practical management techniques to ensure optimal production can be achieved.
As strategic partner to Firstfruits Consulting, Nico conducts soil surveys and compiles new orchard development reports for Firstfruits Consulting clients.
Nico is registered as a Professional Natural Scientist with SACNASP since 2016 and is a member of Fertasa and the Soil Science Society of South Africa.
Bernhard obtained a BSc Agric degree majoring in Horticulture and Botany as well as a Teacher Diploma at University of Pretoria. After teaching for two years in Mpumalanga he furthered his studies at Stellenbosch University in Plant Physiology and Horticultural Sciences.
A short spell at Elsenburg College and Research Farm was followed by 20 years as technical manager with Kromco in Grabouw. Extensive experience with deciduous fruit trees was gained during this time that was followed by fruit business consultation locally as well as in South America. Intimate knowledge of the fruit business in Chile was obtained while consulting in that country over 13 years.
During the 1990s he also held a director’s position in a leading South African plant development company. In 1999 he was invited to become part of Unifrutti South Africa that culminated in the position of CEO. The main focus during this time moved from deciduous to citrus fruit and table grapes. Presently he still continues in an advisory position for Unifrutti as well as a renewed involvement with a few leading pome fruit producers.
Bernhard is involved with FirstFruits Consulting in an advisory role and as a mentor to management, contributing his vast fruit industry experience, management expertise and strategic thinking.
Ingrid Grundling grew up in Kuils River and went to De Kuilen High School where she matriculated in 2015. She studied at Stellenbosch University and obtained a BSc Agric degree (Horticulture and Soil Science) in 2019. During 2020 she completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Her relationship with FFC started a couple of years before when she worked at FFC as an intern during some of her university holidays and developed a passion for the industry.
Ingrid is the Data Manager at FFC where she receives, processes, and updates all the client data, and manages the analysis scheme.
Wilna Loubser joined the FFC team at the end of 2020. She grew up in Brackenfell and matriculated in 2003 at Northlink College, studying childcare management.
She discovered her love for administrative work while fulfilling a temporary position at a hydraulics repairs company. She was then employed by a leading label manufacturer, starting at reception and moving her way up to Assistant to the Financial Manager. Since then, she has tried her hand at sales, but always returns to her ‘first love’ of administrative duties.
She is currently the Office Administrator at Firstfruits Consulting, as well as a mother of 2 children.
Carel van Zyl
Carel van Zyl was raised on a citrus farm in Citrusdal.
He studied BSc Horticultural Science and Agricultural economics, during which he received the Ballie Wahl-merit prize for the best Horticultural student in Citrus production. Carel continued with a MSc titled ‘Seedless fruit set in Valencias’ at the University of Stellenbosch.
Carel has a passion for the effective application and use of nutrients and water for the production of high quality fruit in an economically sustainable framework.
Luan le Roux
Luan completed his BSc degree in Conservation Ecology (Cum Laude) at the University of Stellenbosch in 2013, majoring in Soil Science and Conservation Ecology. Thereafter he completed an MSc Agric in Soil Science (Cum Laude) at the same institution in 2015.
In his 1st year of postgraduate studies, Luan taught the 3rd year soil pedology course and still has great interest in soil classification. As a pedologist, Luan has vast experience in both Southern Africa and Africa and currently serves on the National Soil Classification Working Group. His specialty in this regard is assessing and managing soils for perennial crop production.
In addition, Luan is also knowledgeable in soil fertility, plant nutrition and irrigation management where he has consulted on a variety of fruit and nut crops across South Africa. At FFC Luan will draw on past experience as senior consultant.
Luan is a Professional Natural Scientist with SACNASP since 2019.