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Hester Vermeulen

Senior analyst, Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP), University of Pretoria

Hester Vermeulen is an agricultural economist and consumer analyst at the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) and has been involved with the consumer analysis division of BFAP for the past two decades. She has recently completed her PhD in nutrition at the University of Pretoria, working in the multi-disciplinary context of nutrition and agricultural economics to investigate food affordability and the cost of healthy eating in the South African context. Her career path has built upon a combination of an educational background combining training in food science with agricultural- and consumer economics, to specialise in consumer food- and nutrition economics. Fields of interest include aspects such socio-economic consumer dynamics, consumer behaviour and food choices, consumer trends, food consumption patterns, food affordability, food security and nutrition economics.


  • 2005–present
    Senior analyst, Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP)
  • 2015–2017
    Part time researcher, Department of Animal and Wildlife Sciences, University of Pretoria
  • 2000–2010
    Researcher, Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension & Rural Development, University of Pretoria
  • 2001–2002
    Researcher, CSIR Bio-/Chemtek Division


  • 2020 
    University of Pretoria, PhD (Nutrition)
  • 2004 
    University of Pretoria, M Sc (Agric) Agricultural Economics
  • 1998 
    University of Pretoria, B Sc Food Science


  • 2017
    Evaluating the demand for meat in South Africa: an econometric estimation of short term demand elasticities. DELPORT, M., LOUW, M., DAVIDS, T., VERMEULEN, H. & MEYER, F. (2017). , Agrekon. 56(1):13-27
  • 2017
    Do South African Consumers have an Appetite for an Origin-based Certification System for Meat Products? A Synthesis of Studies on Perceptions, Preferences and Experiments. KIRSTEN, J.F., VERMEULEN, H., VAN ZYL, K., DU RAND, G. DU PLESSIS, H. & WEISSNER, T. , International Journal of Food System Dynamics. 8 (1):54-71
  • 2015
    A consumer perspective of the South African red meat classification system. VERMEULEN, H., SCHÖNFELDT, H.C. & PRETORIUS, B. (2015). , South African Journal of Animal Science, 45(3), pp 339 – 354.
  • 2013
    Determining South African consumers’ willingness to pay for certified Karoo lamb: An application of an experimental auction, VAN ZYL, K., VERMEULEN, H. & KIRSTEN, J.F. (2013) , Agrekon, 52(4):1-20.
  • 2011
    Improving smallholders’ market participation: Insights from a business scheme for maize in Limpopo Province, South Africa. BIÉNABE, E., VERMEULEN, H (2011) , Development Southern Africa. 28(4)(October 2011):493-507.
  • 2011
    Consumer acceptability and perceptions of maize meal in Giyani, in South Africa. KHUMALO, T.P., SCHONFELDT, H.C. & VERMEULEN, H. (2011). , Development Southern Africa. 28(2)(June 2011):271-281.
  • 2011
    The food ‘quality turn’ in South Africa. An initial exploration of its implications for small-scale farmers’ market access. BIÉNABE, E., VERMEULEN, H. & BRAMLEY, C. (2011)., Agrekon. 50(1)(March 2011): 36-52.
  • 2010
    The possible impact of inflation on nutritionally vulnerable households in a developing country using South African as a case study. SCHÖNFELDT, H.C., GIBSON, N. & VERMEULEN, H. (2010). , Nutrition Bulletin, Volume 35:253-266.
  • 2008
    Contracting arrangements in agribusiness procurement practices in South Africa. VERMEULEN, H., KIRSTEN, J.F. & SARTORIUS, K. (2008). , Agrekon, 47(2)(June 2008):198-221.
  • 2007
    Securing small farmer participation in supermarket supply chains in South Africa. LOUW, A.L., VERMEULEN, H., KIRSTEN, J.F. & MADEVU, H. (2007). , Development Southern Africa. 24(4)(October 2007):539-551.
  • 2005
    Attitudes and acceptance of South African urban consumers towards genetically modified white maize. VERMEULEN, H., KIRSTEN, J.F., DOYER, O.T. & SCHÖNFELDT, H.C. (2005)., Agrekon, 44(1):118-137.
  • 2001
    Measuring the Impact of Supply Chain Intervention on Household Utility in poor households: The Quedeni community in KwaZulu-Natal. VERMEULEN, H., et al. (2001). , Agrekon, 40(4):688 – 697.

Professional Memberships

  • Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa