Managing Director’s Foreword

Celebrating a history hard fought and hard earned

Few business leaders are afforded the honour of marking their company’s Centenary celebration. Looking back at images we have of the wattle industry at the turn of last century, there is a toughness, a pioneering spirit in the people, which remains with NTE to this day.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. NTE’s history extends to the first experiments where black wattle was used as a tanning agent. Our people built the processes and developed the formulas, and we established a powerful collective of Acacia mearnsii growers and extended our plantations across KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. As the world’s markets have shifted and our industry has come under pressure, so we have adapted, innovated, and developed new applications for this most versatile extract.

When reflecting on what has been, it naturally leads to where we are going, and it is through the lens of our past that we chart our course for the future. NTE’s values of respect, integrity, commitment, accountability and teamwork provide the guidance. By adhering to these beliefs, through thick and thin, our company has flourished since we were incorporated in 1920.

Our focus as we move forward is to consider the people whose lives we impact as a company, and the critical importance of the environment in safeguarding the future for generations to come. NTE is working with local communities, small scale growers and collectives to ensure that opportunities are rewarded at every level. NTE’s shareholders are today the most diverse they have been in the company’s history, and we strive for best practice in our plantation management, production and logistics, to minimise the impact on our surroundings.

NTE and its subsidiaries are making bold strides in marketing to stay ahead of global competition. Working with a team of specialists, the company is rolling out a strategy to coincide with the Centenary celebration, where we will engage with new customers in new markets and build deeper relationships with stakeholders and customers throughout the value chains. Our company has demonstrated nothing short of greatness in the past 100 years, and through the boldness of our mission and committing to our values, we look on confidently to the hundred years ahead.

Harald Niebuhr
Managing Director