About Us

Our Story

Afritex Ventures is an investment holding company and is one of few vertically integrated seafood providers. Our retail operations are headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and we currently maintain fully established longline and trawling operations in Mozambique. We innovate and develop finished value-added and commodity products under the Wild Side, Wild Side N’Fused, Pristine Seafoods, Pesca Maya, and Truth in Food brands, including retail partner private label brands. Our products range from raw retail and food service seafood steaks and portions to dishes, such as quiche, dips, salads, and seafood entrees.

Afritex continues to deliver growth during these volatile times and strives to responsibly source products from untapped and emerging markets, which mitigates global risk and exposure. Our nimble, hands-on approach allows us to be proactive in ever-changing markets.

Our Global Mission

Through our management team whom have decades of experience in fishing, operations and marketing, our global mission at Afritex is to foster a culture of teamwork, continuous improvement and fair and ethical business practices. Our vision is to be the premier and first choice supplier of seafood from the Indian Ocean and to strive to maintain the importance of excellent customer service and the highest quality supply of seafood.

The Afritex group have signed an agreement with Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), one of the largest NGO sustainability organisations in the world and is a member of their Tuna Roundtable. In collaboration with SFP our group will be developing a Fisheries Improvement Plan which will incorporate all our fishing entities in our continuous strive to reshape the world of sustainability of the oceans. All our Longline operations are Dolphin Safe certified.

Our dedication and passion towards the preservation of the oceans is of utmost importance to us and we practice sustainability in all aspects of our operations. Specific sustainability procedures are carried out on board our vessels, some of which include practising dolphin safe procedures; non-use of shark lines and avoiding shark hot spots; setting gears at night to avoid risk to birds; avoiding interaction with marine mammals by communication between our vessels; reducing soak times and avoiding the catch of species on the endangered list.

Our Management Team

CAPT John S. Banigan, U.S. Navy (retired)
Senior Vice President
Afritex Ventures, Inc.

CAPT. JOHN S. BANIGAN started his career in the U.S. Navy. Throughout his 26 years of service, John was commanding officer to over 700 sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and the Ticonderoga-class cruiser. He specialized in procurement, analytics, and ballistic missile defense. Upon retirement, the “Captain” founded technology businesses in the areas of government contracting, logistics management, and medical care.

Executive Director
Afritex Group

DAVID J. DIAMOND has an extensive career in investment banking, private equity, and the startup of new businesses. David started his career as a mergers and acquisitions investment banker at Credit Suisse in New York City. He later was a founder of the London-based private equity firm Compass Partners and led several of their investments. In the past 10 years, David has co-founded several successful ventures, including Tuun China, a medical device business headquartered in Shanghai, China; InteMedica, a nutritional supplements manufacturer; and Sonexus Health, a pharmaceutical commercialization company. David currently serves on several boards across a variety of industries.

Executive Director
Afritex Group

JOEL M. FINEBERG is one of the most well-known attorneys in the U.S. and is a successful real estate developer in California. Joel is also the founder of Class Action Insurance Consultants, which provides consulting services for companies seeking to obtain GAAP-qualified risk transfer of class action liability and risk. Joel is a graduate of Emory University and received his J.D. from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in Dallas, Texas. He has over 20 years of active litigation practice in state and federal courts across the country.

Chief Commercial Officer
Global Fishing

GAVIN VAN DER BURGH is the chief commercial officer of the group fishing division and is the executive director of Pescamoz, Kalipesca, Pristine Seafoods, and Afritex Mauritius. Gavin has extensive experience and knowledge of the seafood industry, which has solidified relationships with leading retail giants in the U.S. and worldwide. Gavin is a past member of the Global Ocean’s Council and World Economic Forum.

Vice President of Operations
Afritex Group

MARLENE LOMBARD graduated from the Royal Agricultural University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics. Marlene joined Ernst & Young in entrepreneurial services, where she gained valuable experience and soon advanced to the management level. Over the years, Marlene has held senior financial management positions in various multinational corporations before moving into a commercial management position in the seafood sector, where she has been exclusively focused for the past 10 years. Marlene has been in the finance department of Afritex since its inception.

Director of Culinary Development
Afritex Ventures, Inc.

JASON FERRARO has over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry with a diverse background in fine dining, restaurants, and hotels.
He has worked for some of the world’s best chefs, including Charlie Trotter, Anne Quatrano, Steven Wade, Grant Achatz, Bruno Menard, and Stephan Pyles, and worked at the Michelin-rated Ritz-Carlton dining room in Atlanta, Georgia.
From these influences, Jason developed a strong foundation and is globally inspired by food, culture, and history. His culinary emphasis is on local foraging, seasonal applications, and ocean/farm-to-table cuisine

Director of Marketing
Afritex Ventures, Inc.

SUE-ANNE MACKWAY-WILSON completed her Bachelor of Business Administration in Switzerland in 2004 and joined the team in 2018. She manages public relations, all marketing elements related to new product development, retail packaging design and compliance, and liaises with retail clients. She also actively oversees our corporate social responsibility projects.