Our Team


Our global team is selected from a diverse range of disciplines to ensure that the Kelpak brand delivers on its promise of an excellent return on investment for the end user.

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  • peter friedmann
    chairman

    Peter Friedmann has been involved in the development of Kelpak since the 1970's. After completing a law degree in Cape Town, his national military service and then after a brief spell with a commercial bank, he joined the fledgling business in 1981 as company secretary. He was appointed to the board as financial director in the mid 1980's, after completion of his honours degree in commerce, and became MD of the Company in the early 1990's. Peter drove the export growth of the business and handed over as MD in 2006 upon relocation to Sydney, Australia. He is currently chairman as well as a director of Kelp Products International, dealing with the development and growth of the business throughout the Asia Pacific region. Peter is married to Lindy and they have three sons.
    Email: kelpactive@westnet.com.au

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  • robert schewes
    director | europe

    Robert Schewes obtained his Engineer degree in Agricultural Science (with focus on Plant Production) from the University of Munich, his MSc in Marketing – Product Management from Cranfield Institute of Technology in Great Britain and his PhD in Agricultural Science (Trace analysis of herbicides in soil) from the University of Munich. He joined the Kelp Products’ team in 2005, after spending time in Germany and Chile working for COMPO / BASF and K+S Group. In 2005 he was appointed as a director responsible for the development and growth of the markets of Europe and the Middle East, as well as Latin America. Email: robert.schewes@kelpak.com

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  • JANINE DAHMS
    TECHNICAL SUPPORT

    Janine Dahms grew up on a farm where she developed a deep appreciation for agriculture. After studying Agricultural Research (Plant Pathology) at Cape Town University of Technologies, she was involved for several years in the development and marketing of agricultural technology for crop disease prediction and irrigation scheduling. She joined Kelp Products in 2010 as technical and R&D manager.
    Email: janine.dahms@kelpak.com

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  • Carlo Botha
    MANAGING DIRECTOR | KPI

    Carlo Botha joined the group in 2019 as Financial Director Designate and was appointed Group Financial Director in 2020. In 2022 he was appointed as Managing Director of Kelp Products International (KPI), the business responsible for distribution of Kelpak to markets worldwide. He obtained his education from the University of Stellenbosch and qualified as a Chartered Accountant through Baker Tilly Greenwoods in Cape Town. He holds executive management experience in various industries, predominantly in agriculture. He is also a 2016 finalist in the top 35 under 35 CA (SA)’s as chosen by the South African Institute for Chartered Accountants. Carlo is married to Louise and they have three sons.
    Email: carlo.botha@kelpak.com

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  • PEDRO LARRAIN
    SOUTH AMERICA

    Pedro Larrain has been involved in the development of the Kelpak market in Chile since its introduction in 1996. After completing an Agricultural Engineering (fruit specialist) degree at the University of Chile in Santiago, he worked for seven years in fruit and table grape production at Chile's main fruit exporter companies (DOLE & David del Curto). In 1996 Pedro joined BASF Chile S.A as product manager of foliar fertilizer, during the same period that Kelp Products appointed BASF as its distributor in Chile. In 2009 he became Kelp Products' marketing and technical manager for Latin America. Pedro is married to Pilar, they have a daughter and three sons.
    Email: pedro.larrain@kelpak.com

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  • NICO ENGELBRECHT
    MARKET DEVELOPEMENT

    Nico Engelbrecht is the marketing and sales manager for South Africa, including Sub-Saharan Africa. He has an Msc (Agric) and an in-depth experience in plant production with special interest in row-crops, pastures and plant physiology. Nico joined the Kelp Products' team in 2009 and has contributed to Kelpak's development in the local and African markets. He is married to Marelize and they have three children. Email: nico.engelbrecht@kelpak.com

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  • STEVEN VAN RHEEDE
    MD | Kelp Products

    Steven van Rheede joined Kelp Products in 2021 as the Operations Manager and took over as Managing Director in 2022. He qualified as a Chemical Engineer in 2010 and went on to complete his MBA from UCT Graduate School of Business, graduating Cum Laude. Prior to joining Kelp Products, Steven headed up operations in the Automotive and Lighting industries. He has toured various manufacturing facilities in Luxembourg, Poland, Germany and Turkey, gaining international experience in best practice methodologies. Steven is also a Six Sigma certified with expertise in Lean Manufacturing, Theory of Constraints and QMS. He is married to Nicole, and they have one son.
    Email: steven.vanrheede@kelpak.com

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  • ANTIPAS R. CRIADOR IV
    ASIA PACIFIC

    Antipas R. Criador IV or Jojo for short joined the Kelp Products’ team in March 2016 as the Technical Sales Manager for Asia Pacific. He has more than 30 years of extensive experience in the agri-industry in different roles and management levels with involvement in research and production, sales and technical, operations management and business development with multinational companies namely Dole, Dow AgroSciences, BASF, Biostadt and now with KP Pacific. Jojo is an alumnus of the University of the Philippines at Los Baños with a degree in BS Agriculture, Major in Agronomy. He is married to Grace and they have 4 children and now with 5 grandchildren.
    Email: jojo.criador@kelpak.com

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  • RIAAN LOURENS
    R&D | USA SALES

    Riaan Lourens completed a BSc and MSc in Biochemistry at the University of Stellenbosch. He obtained his PhD in Plant Physiology from the University of California, Davis. He was senior researcher at the Department of Agriculture Fruit and Fruit Technology Research Institute and principal researcher at the Agricultural Research Council Infruitec, located in Stellenbosch, where he covered research in weed science, chemical manipulation of fruit trees, plant growth regulator applications, fruit quality and post-harvest physiology. Riaan joined Kelp Products in 1998, currently heading up the technical department and global R&D effort of the Company. Riaan is married to Vera and they have two sons. Email: riaan.lourens@kelpak.com

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  • luke friedmann
    Director | Asia pacific

    Luke Friedmann joined the Kelp Products’ team in 2022 as Regional Director of Asia-Pacific. He has completed his Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance, followed by a Master of International Business at Sydney University Business School, graduating Summa Cum Laude. He holds strategy consulting experience across several industries, including Energy, Financial Services, Insurance, Government, Not-For-Profit, Retail and Agriculture, gained during his time as a Manager with KPMG Australia’s Global Strategy Group. Luke is married to Josephine. Email: luke.friedmannk@kelpak.com

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  • CRISTIAN GUTIERREZ
    CHILE

    Cristian Gutierrez has been involved in the development of the Kelpak market in Chile since 2006. After completing an Agronomist degree, he worked as a farm manager, mainly in the production of fruit and table grapes. Later he worked in a Chilean Perennial Fruit Exported Company (SAFEX) in charge of citrus and avo growers. Thereafter he spent four years at Del Monte Fresh Produce. In 2006 Cristian joined COMPO Chile where he developed a relationship with the Kelpak brand. He has become a recognized nutritional walnut consultant in Chile and, in May 2013, he joined Kelp Products providing technical and marketing support to the Chilean market. Cristian is married to Marcia and they have two children.
    Email: cristian.gutierrez@kelpak.com

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  • Heino Papenfus
    R&D MANAGER

    Heino Papenfus completed a BSc and BSc (Hons) in Medicinal Plant Science at the University of Pretoria. He obtained both his MSc and PhD in Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. During his post graduate studies he developed a keen interest in plant growth regulators and how they affect plant growth from germination to fruit production. He joined Kelp Products at the beginning of 2015. His principal roles are to conduct research and to provide technical support. Email: heino.papenfus@kelpak.com

NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS

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  • roy slack
    director

    After qualifying as a chartered accountant with Ernst and Young; Roy spent a number of years in investment banking with Investec Bank, joining Kelp Products as financial director in 2002. Roy Slack took over the role of managing director of the Company in 2006 and remained in that position until 2019. Roy is married to Jenny, they have a daughter and two sons. Email: roy.slack@kelpak.com

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  • jeremy nel
    director

    After completing his degree at the University of Stellenbosch in 1990 followed by a marketing diploma, Jeremy joined Kelp Products as Marketing Manager. His responsibilities included brand and market development. After several years with the company he started the specialist global marketing and media business - Luxury Brands with his wife Annette Cowley-Nel. Jeremy remains a Director of Kelp Products International. He is married to Annette and has a son and twin daughters.

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  • Nigel Christie
    Director

    Nigel has been a director of Kelp Products for over four decades.