Michael Cherry has devoted much of his career to date to the management of major corporate farming production entities both in the developing and developed sectors, first as General Manager of Magwa Tea Corporation near Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape Province, and subsequently as Managing Director of Sapekoe Estates, an Industrial Development Corporation company producing tea, coffee, macadamias and paprika (for oleoresin) on several large estates in the Limpopo Province and in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
At a practical level he has significant experience as a farmer, first having controlled a crop farming partnership in Natal, and subsequently owning and running, full time, his fruit farm near Knysna.
Before and in between these managerial activities Michael had several years’ experience as an agricultural management consultant both with SA Farm Consultants and Lugg Harrison and Associates (in KwaZuluNatal) from which position he spearheaded the creation of Magwa Tea Corporation structuring it as a public/private partnership (among the earliest in South Africa), one which worked effectively for many years in creating both employment and profits.
Michael has held directorships, in some of which capacities, including the SA Tea Council and Transkei United Dairies, he was Chairperson. He holds a BSc Agric degree (gold medalist) from the University of Stellenbosch and an MBA from the University of Cape Town. As a consultant with Agri-Africa over the last 18 years, he has undertaken many assignments including an economic evaluation, together with the University of Stellenbosch, of AgriBEE farms for the Department of Land Affairs. Much of his consulting work has been in the field of transformation development in South Africa – mainly in the Western Cape.