The Ecocert Southern Africa Team




Dr. Marianna Smith

Dr. Marianna Smith (General Manager and Certification Decision Officer)

The office is headed by Dr. Smith, who completed her doctorate in sub-Antarctic ecology. She has a wide knowledge base in social auditing and the commercialization of alternative crops. She has experience in setting up quality control at small rural enterprises and consulted to companies interested in organic and Fair Trade certification. Marianna joined Ecocert in 2013 as certification officer and in October 2014 she took the additional task as General Manager of the office on her shoulders. Under her management the office expanded in size; both in clients and inspectors. The welfare of the local Ecocert team and excellent service to clients is the determining success factor.

Hendrik Louw

Hendrik Louw (Certification Decision Officer and Auditor)

Hendrik has a Masters Degree in Environmental Management. He joined Ecocert in 2014 as an inspector and in January 2017 was appointed as Certification Decision Officer. Hendrik is qualified to do EOS, NOP, JAS and Konkuk audits and specializes in livestock.

Daniel Kotze

Daniël Kotzé (Inputs Manager and Auditor)

Daniël studied BSc Conservation Ecology and MSc Plant Pathology at Stellenbosch University. He started working at Ecocert in October 2015 and has since qualified to do EOS, NOP, JAS and Konkuk inspection. He manages the attestation of inputs (fertilizers and pesticides) allowed in organic agriculture and is also a qualified auditor in this field. In his free time, he is a keen birdwatcher, hiker and photographer.

Kobus Kellermann

Kobus Kellerman (Auditor)

Kobus studied MPhil in Environment, Society and Sustainablility from the University of Cape Town after a BSc degree in Conservation Ecology at the University of Stellenbosch. Kobus is a qualified organic and Fair for Life (fair trade) auditor. He specializes in beekeeping and wild harvesting inspections.

Lauren le Roux

Lauren le Roux (Auditor) 

Lauren has a BSc (Hons) degree in Environmental Management and a Btech degree in Nature Conservation. Prior to joining Ecocert in January 2017 Lauren worked for five years as an environmental consultant and environmental control officer, conducting Environmental Impact Assessments and Environmental Audits. Lauren is a qualified as an Organic Auditor and is the CSR Coordinator for the Ecocert South Africa office. 

Alta Zietsman

Alta Saunders (Auditor)

Alta stutied BSc Conservation Ecology and MSc Botany at Stellenbosch University. She started working at Ecocert in January 2018 and is qualified to do EOS, NOP and JAS inspections. 

Shani Hugo

Shani Hugo (Administrative Assistant)

Shani Studied Public Relations at CPUT . She started working at Ecocert in January 2018 as Finance and Administrative assistant. She loves the outdoors, especially the Karoo with its wide open spaces.

Prof. Valdon Smith

Prof. Valdon Smith (Freelance Auditor)
Valdon Smith, a freelance auditor, is an emeritus professor in Botany from Stellenbosch University. His academic career, mostly focused on the ecology and ecophysiology of Marion Island, positioned him perfectly to evaluate agriculture in a sustainable and analytical manner.  Having authored or co-authored 136 peer-reviewed scientific publications, one book and about 60 popular articles on ecological and biological topics provide him with excellent writing and reporting skills. 

Valdon is the most experienced auditor at ECOCERT Southern Africa, with more than 10 years of organic and fair trade auditing experience.  His auditing portfolio consists of organic agriculture (EOS and NOP) Fair for Life, For Life, Fair Wild and On Farm Inputs. At the moment he is in the process of being qualified to audit against the Korean standard. He is also a freelance consultant in his fields of expertise and Syngenta and Medigrow are a few of his clients.

Zander Venter (Freelance Auditor)

Our only livestock inspector is passionate about bridging the gap between scientific research and its application to sustainable organic agriculture. He is pursuing a PhD in sustainable livestock management which has informed his interest in organic livestock production.

Jacques Smit (Freelance Auditor)