Niel Smith: Category Manager Pome Fruit (Apples & Pears)

Aug 17, 2022 | News, Pome Fruit

Getting to know Niel Smith

At Delecta we constantly strive toward growth and new prospects within our various fruit categories. One of the recent developments in support of our future strategy is the appointment of Niel Smith as Category Manager of the Pome Fruit (Apples and Pears) division.

Originally from Cape Town with roots in the Langkloof, Niel currently resides in Durbanville with his wife and two children. Niel and his family are known for their athletic capabilities and enjoy spending time outdoors on the mountain bike, hiking and around the golf course.

When Niel starts talking about his career in fruit, it dates back to his very first employment as an apple and pear crop estimate officer. Niel remembers how he had to work his way up from within the production areas to later being fully responsible for the commercial side of fruit exports.

From these humble beginnings, his experience equipped him to be a fully-fledged commercial operator to be reckoned with.

Those that know Niel well will testify that teamwork and customer relations are some of his most prominent strengths. Through the years Niel has been building long-term sustainable relationships across various markets and has an in-depth understanding of the dynamics that the apple and pear world trade entails. In addition to his capability of maximising team-driven results, Niel has a strong focus on attention to detail, service excellence, and being customer-centric in his approach.

Niel Smith Lindi-Nicole White Pierre Nieuwoudt

Image: Niel Smith with Key Account Managers Lindi-Nicole White and Pierre Nieuwoudt


On a day-to-day basis, Niel strives to communicate pro-actively while ensuring realistic outcomes are achieved both on the producer and the customer side. As we all know the apple and pear industry consists of a complex set of ever-changing variables, this asks for quick decision making and in-depth advanced planning which sits right up Niel’s sleeve.

Following significant growth, especially on the apple side of our business, which we also foresee continuing in the future, Delecta now enters an exciting new phase where the scale of our apple and pear business requires a fresh perspective, innovation, and strategic planning. Niel’s contribution to the above fills us with excitement and we are also glad to be able to retain Niel’s predecessor, Gert Marais, within the team to further bolster our future approach.

Watch this space for more on how Gert will apply his wealth of knowledge on our way forward.


Niel Smith and Gert Marais Delecta Fruit

Image: Niel Smith and Gert Marais