Astral Foods
Executive Directors

Christiaan Ernst Schutte (61)

Chris-main

Christiaan Ernst Schutte (61)

(Chief Executive Officer)
Appointed 18 August 2005, CEO from 1 May 2009

Experience: Chris joined Golden Lay Farms, a leading egg-producer in Southern Africa and a division of Tiger Brands Ltd, in October 1983 as Trainee Farm Manager. He then spent the following 18 years with Golden Lay in various positions, including that of Sales Director, a role he was responsible for from 1996 to 2002. Chris joined Astral in May 2002 as Manager of Retail Sales for Meadow Feeds Southern Africa and was subsequently appointed as Meadow Feeds’ Sales and Marketing Director in August 2002. He was appointed as Managing Director for the Animal Feeds Division of Astral in July 2004, where he was responsible for Meadow Feeds Southern Africa, as well as various other service-related business units within the Astral Group. Chris was appointed as a director to the Board of Astral in August 2005 and as CEO of Astral on 1 May 2009.

External appointments: None


Daniel Dirk Ferreira (65)

Chris-main

Daniel Dirk Ferreira (65)

(Chief Financial Officer) BCom, BCompt (Hons), CA(SA)
Appointed 1 May 2009

Experience: Daan was employed by ICS Group Ltd (ICS) before the acquisition of ICS by Tiger Brands Ltd, where he held positions in operational, financial management, tax management, project management and later as Group Financial Manager. He later joined Genfood (Pty) Ltd for two years before joining Astral in February 2001 as Group Financial Manager. He was appointed as CFO in May 2009.

External appointments: None

Gary Desmond Arnold (49)

Chris-main

Gary Desmond Arnold (49)

(Group Chief Operating Officer) BSc Agric (Hons), MSc Agric, MBA, Pr.Sci.Nat.
Appointed 1 May 2012 as an Executive Director
Appointed 1 October 2021 as Group Chief Operating Officer

Experience: Gary started his career in 1997 as Animal Nutritionist for Meadow Feeds Delmas and Meadow Feeds Welkom. In 1998 he was appointed as the Technical Manager for Meadow Feeds Delmas and in 2001 he was appointed as the Technical Manager for Meadow Feeds northern region. In 2004 he was appointed as the Managing Director of Provimi SSA (previously Nutec Southern Africa) and in 2006 he was appointed to the position of COO for Meadow Feeds in the Western Cape.

Gary was appointed as Director: Business Development of Astral Operations Ltd on 1 November 2010 and in October 2016 he was appointed to the position of Managing Director of Astral’s Agriculture Division. Effective 1 October 2021, Gary has been appointed as Group COO of Astral. This position has been introduced with a specific mandate to optimise expansion opportunities and continuous improvement initiatives, whilst effectively allocating capital and human resources across all Astral divisions.

External appointments: None



Frans Gerryts van Heerden (41)

Chris-main

Frans Gerryts van Heerden (41)

(Managing Director: Poultry Commercial) BCom, BCompt (Hons), CA(SA), Diploma in National Auditing
Appointed 1 November 2020 as Managing Director
Appointed 1 October 2021 as an Executive Director

Experience: Frans started his career with the Group 15 years ago when he joined Astral’s Internal Audit Department. He was subsequently appointed to different Financial Manager positions within the Group, and on 1 June 2017 promoted to COO of the Poultry Commercial Division: Central Region. On 1 November 2020, he was appointed as the Managing Director of the Group’s Poultry Commercial Division and effective 1 October 2021 to the Board as an Executive Director.

External appointments: None