SOUTH AFRICA – Former Shoprite boss Whitey Basson has taken up an independent non-executive director role in the dairy group Clover few months after leaving his corporate roles at ShopRite late 2017.

Clover has strengthened its board with two other appointments; Flemming Morgan as another independent non-executive director and Frantz Scheepers as an executive director.

As a leading branded consumer goods and beverages group, Clover would benefit from Basson’s experience at ShopRite that saw its expansion to the rest of Africa.

“If I can give something back, help on operations, make milk cheaper — just not be too busy. Mentally, I can still handle a lot of problems.”

“I will join companies and parastatals for free if I thought I could make a difference to SA,” said Basson.

Flemming Morgan served as member of Danone’s executive committee, CEO of Nutricia, Danone’s medical nutrition division and senior person at British American Tobacco and Coca-Cola before the appointment.

“I really feel that Clover is at the right time to reposition — all the hard work has been done. I really feel [Basson and Morgan] can add a lot of value,” said Clover CEO Johann Vorster.

Clover’s focus into new value-added products came after it rationalized its low-margin basic milk products business by handing over control of raw milk prices to its suppliers through special purpose vehicle Dairy Farmers SA.

However, Clover’s strive to penetrate the global market was savaged prolonged drought followed by a wetter, cooler summer, which affected domestic beverage sales.

It has a wide product portfolio including long-life milk, juice products, dairy and fruit juice blends and value-added offerings such as custards and yogurts in no-fat, low-fat and full-fat varieties.

“I look forward to working with them closely as we drive Clover’s strategy to develop and expand higher-margin value-added products in dairy and other related food categories we want to dominate,” Clover chairman Werner Buchner said.