Tessara’s origins are rooted in innovative thinking and heroic execution. From designing the first Uvasys sheets in a kitchen to producing millions of the world’s best SO2 generating sheets, our clients are, through our decades of experience, guaranteed THE top tier product. Whether you are looking for post harvest decay protection on Grapes, Blueberries, Roses, Litchis or Tomatoes; our current and upcoming product line will provide you with the best there is to offer.
The story does not end there, we are now extending our innovative ideas into keeping more types of produce fresh. Our drive is to make it easier for fresh produce to enhance people’s lives, fulfilling it by realising a vision built on the reputation that Uvasys has earned us:
We develop new products establishing us as thought leaders in intelligent packaging.
To achieve this, our mission is formed around the 4 D’s:
• Design useful products that simplify the delivery of desirable benefits that enhance a more elegant lifestyle.
• Be Determined in combining a can-do attitude and scientific methodology in getting to a solution.
• Deliver products that build us a worldwide reputation as we have already done on Uvasys.
• Be Dependable by being a team that is focused on setting the leadership standard in our industry
Based on our core values of Determined Design, our goal of ensuring Dependable Delivery of both our products and services,underpin everything we do.
Our Executive Team
Jaco Smit joined Tessara in November 2019. Originally from the Western Cape, Jaco completed his studies in Chemical Engineering in Arkansas, USA, and thereafter completed his Master’s Degrees in Chemical Engineering and Management (MBA) at MIT. Jaco spent over 20 years in the Pharmaceutical industry, initially with Sanofi in the USA, France, and South Africa, and most recently as Managing Director of Ascendis Health’s Pharma division.
Jaco’s leadership style leans heavily on creating organizational cultures that foster innovation and change. His motivation is to build winning teams with strong ethics and focus on execution.
Having grown up on their family farm in Ceres, DJ is well acquainted with the agriculture sector and first obtained a degree in Industrial Psychology from the University of Stellenbosch, before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant “CA(SA)”.
After completion of his articles at PWC, DJ specialised in tax for 2 years, before making the shift into the manufacturing industry. He joined Tessara as CFO in 2019 following successive accomplishments as an expat throughout Africa. Amongst others, he has worked for DHL – West Africa; Astral – Zambia and Crooks Bros in Mozambique, all of which are listed companies.
Alwyn van Jaarsveld
Alwyn joined in 2006 as the company’s Export Manager. In addition to managing and developing export sales, Alwyn was involved in technical aspects of existing and new products including R&D. In 2015 he was appointed Head of Sales and Marketing when the local and export sales functions were merged. Alwyn graduated from the University of Stellenbosch in 2000 with an MSc in Agricultural Science.
Andries was appointed as Head of Operations in 2015. He joined in September 2013 as a consultant involved in the procurement of specialised raw materials. Moreover, he led projects to develop new products and improve manufacturing processes.
Dr Filicity Vries
Filicity joined Tessara in 2015 as Head of Research and Development, focusing on the development of new products while continuing efforts to optimize the current product range. Prior to joining Tessara she spent 14 years at the Agricultural Research Council Infruitec-Nietvoorbij. Filicity graduated with a MSc in Chemistry (Cum Laude) in 2002 and obtained her PhD in Plant Pathology in 2008 from the University of the Western Cape. She published several peer-reviewed papers and supervised a number of PhD and MSc students during her academic and research careers.
Deon Joined as Head of FInance in 2013 upon returning from London as Finance Manager with Bibendum WIne. He completed a BSc (Forestry) degree from University of Stellenbosch as well as a number of courses of ACCA, the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants; an international professional body based in the UK.
HR & Corporate Affairs
Irina Damiani, currently responsible for Corporate Affairs and Human Resourses functions, joined Tessara in 2013. In addition to her core HR responsibilities, Irina drives the company’s brand and culture agendas and was involved in re-branding to Tessara.
Irina holds a BCom (Management) qualification from the University of South Africa and was the Finance Manager of Space Age Technologies prior to joining the Tessara executive management.
Rachel has been with Tessara and its predecessor companies since 2002. Originally employed to oversee the implementation of Pastel Evolution, she now serves as an independent voice on the executive committee, advising and implementing structures to facilitate better communication and information to support the executive team and decision making in general.
Rachel holds a BCom (Financial Management) qualification obtained from the University of South Africa in 2004 and is a registered tax practitioner with SARS.
- Dennis Clemes registers the patent for a dual-release technology product called Uvasys .
- Tedmark, an export and marketing company, owned by Clemes, owns full rights to Uvasys .
- Grapetek acquires the rights from Tedmark to manufacture and sell Uvasys locally. The right to sell the product internationally remains with Tedmark.
- Uvasys is commercialised & marketed to European supermarket chains. The superior performance of the product drives offshore and local demand following successful trials with Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer.
- EPA registration for Uvasys is approved enabling exports to North America along with a CDPR registration allowing the product to be sold in the state of California.
- APVMA registration and first export sales to Australia are secured the same year.
- Grapetek acquires Tedmark’s rights to Uvasys. With the Tedmark acquisition, Grapetek now owns the right to manufacture and sell Uvasys, both locally and internationally.
- Dennis Clemes exits the business.
- Grapetek installs a second production line, doubling its capacity.
- RMB Ventures (
RMBV) acquires a stake in Grapetek, Tedmark, Wenlor plus Rifcor & restructures the group.
- The company voluntary signs up for a BRC assessment after significant revamp of the production facilities in line with BRC requirements.
- First BRC accreditation secured.
- Grapetek acquires its competitor Vinguard, a local manufacturer with a competing product to Uvasys.
- Grapetek secures another successful BRC rating, achieving “A” status.
- Grapetek changes its name to Tessara .
- Tessara secures another BRC “A” audit rating for the second year in a row.
- Uvasys Pak and Uva Uno are commercialized.
- Wenlor division is discontinued.
- Tessara once more secures the coveted BRC “AA” audit rating.
- Tessara purchases the Epping property and the Rifcor division is discontinued.
- Trials commence on Tomasys (protection for tomatoes) as well as for
- Florasys (protection of roses) for the export market.
- Florasys registration commences and the product is commercialised for export in addition to existing South African sales.
- Trials commence on Berrisys.
- Tomasys and Berrisys presented for the first time at the 6th Postharvest
- International Conference in Spain.
- Tessara for the 3rd year running secures another BRC “AA” audit rating.
- New equipment increase sheeting capacity with 40%.
- Acquisition by The Carlyle Group
Cape Town, South Africa, 1 November 2019. Tessara (PTY) LTD, the producer of Uvasys, announced...
Proudly BRC Packaging Certified.But what does that mean?SAI Global undertake inspections and...
Interview with Dennis Clemes on Developing what would become UVASYS:Q: What is your formal...
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