The NZ Food & Grocery Council congratulates Sanitarium General Manager Pierre van Heerden on being awarded a prestigious Prime Minister’s Business Scholarship.
Pierre van Heerden is one of 12 senior business executives who have received a scholarship which will enable them to study at some of the world’s most prestigious business schools. He will attend the Executive Certificate in Global Management at INSEAD business school, in France, as well as the Senior Executive Programme at the London Business School.
The scholarships were presented by Prime Minister John Key at a ceremony at Parliament last week.
FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich said van Heerden’s award was well deserved. “Pierre is one of the New Zealand food industry’s innovative thinkers. He runs a company that is at the forefront of developing healthier foods, as evidenced by Sanitarium products being the first to use the Health Star Rating system on packaging.
“As the chair of FGC he also has wider influence over the sector as a whole, and is often sought-out by executives of our member companies looking for advice on a range of issues.
“This scholarship scheme, which is overseen by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, plays an important part in building leadership and capability in the food industry.”
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said when announcing the recipients that the scholarships allowed New Zealand’s smartest executives to expand their international expertise and were designed to grow business skills to help make New Zealand companies more internationally competitive.
“They provide an opportunity to learn international best practices in management and leadership. The knowledge gained … will benefit the companies they return to.
“The scholarships will help to develop valuable networks and the global mindset of our business leaders. Ultimately, this will help to grow our economy and make New Zealand businesses more internationally competitive.”
The study programmes range from four weeks to 20 months, and funding covers up to 50 per cent of course-related costs.
Pierre van Heerden has held various roles in Australia and South Africa and has been the General Manager for Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing in New Zealand since 2007. He is responsible for the company’s full operations, including executing strategy and direction. Sanitarium was established in New Zealand 117 years ago and is 100% New Zealand owned.