Meet the people behind Sovereign Foods

We are committed to the hardworking people that have made our poultry business the success that it is, because they are as essential to our operation as the quality of our products.

Simply put, the Sovereign Foods family is full of goodness because goodness is our way of life. It’s embedded in the company culture and encompasses everything we do. We conduct our business in the most ethical way possible, based on the core values of respect, efficiency, customer satisfaction, self-belief, quality and team success.


Training and Development

At Sovereign Foods, we believe in empowering our employees and improving their skill set through relevant training and development initiatives.

We are committed to supporting the growth of all our employees and run regular training programmes and workshops, as well as facilitate enrolment on university certified courses.

These training initiatives not only provide opportunities for advancement within the organisation but also uplift employee morale, resulting in happy and fulfilled employees.

Job Creation

Sovereign Foods has been a major economic contributor to the Eastern Cape for many years.

Ever since the company was started in 1948, we have based all our operations in and around the Rocklands Valley, and we will continue to support our home province through job creation and social investment. Sovereign Foods currently provides 1300 direct jobs and in excess of 4000 indirect jobs, all to citizens of the Eastern Cape.

Our operation has extended nationally with the addition of our Hartbeespoort facility, and we aim to have the same positive impact on the local communities in that area.

Our Management

Chris Coombes

Chief Executive Officer

Chris Coombes is our Chief Executive Officer, and one of the company’s longest serving employees. He joined Sovereign Foods in 1997, and has since assumed the responsibility of defining the company’s vision, and setting its strategic goals, to ensure that we are successful in meeting the targets set out by the Board of Directors.


Gerald Walter

Group Executive - Commercial

Gerald Walter is our Group Executive of the Sales and Marketing division, which includes Warehousing and Distribution. He brought a wealth of experience with him when he began working at Sovereign Foods in 2007.


Thuto Maepa

Group Executive - Human Resources

Thuto Maepa is our Group Executive of the Human Resources division, which consists of the Occupational Health Clinic, Training and Development, Communications, CSI, Employment Equity, Industrial Relations and the Payroll. She began her career at Sovereign Foods in 2011.


Ettienne Du Preez

Group Executive - Agriculture

Ettienne Du Preez is our Group Executive of Agriculture, and heads the Agricultural Department which is made up of six main units: Breeders, the Hatcheries, Broilers, the Feedmill, Agri Services and Agri Admin. He has risen through the ranks since starting his career at Sovereign Foods in 2004.


Grant Coley

Chief Financial Officer

Grant Coley is our Chief Financial Officer, and heads the Finance and IT Department. He started his career at Sovereign Foods in 2008, after being appointed to set up the internal audit division.


Message from the CEO

Sovereign Foods’ expertly trained and highly efficient staff complement enables our success. They rise to every challenge of the industry, and always prioritise customer service. Meet the people that make it possible for Sovereign Foods to deliver value in goodness.



When you work at Sovereign Foods, you become part of a family that delivers goodness and nutritional value to the whole nation. It’s an all-round rewarding experience, with a range of opportunities for growth, and an empowering work culture that rewards high performance.