SATI UK Tour
Gert Cloete, Production Manager at Rekopane Estates, was one of the few lucky people chosen by SATI to go on a UK Study Tour & Visit in May 2011. Gert along with seven representatives of BEE Farms met with import companies, buyers, supermarket representatives and had a tour of the entire table grape chain. They met with John Giles and Emma Hancocks of Promar International, Sarah Blandford, grape buyer of J Sainsbury (JS is one of the leading UK supermarkets and one of the top four retailers) and also Jane Snell, a grape specialist at the Fair Trade Foundation. They also met with Lisa Williams, senior consultant of Promar International. They paid a visit to IPL (International Produce) and met with Ian Harrison, senior technical manager of IPL and Tom Murray, grape and stone fruit technical manager and they were given a IPL depot- and packhouse tour. There they met with Alberto Goldbacher (Category Manager Grapes & Stone Fruit), Liz Mepstead (Senior Buyer Grapes), Kevin Smith (Buyer Grapes) Damon Johnson (Technical Team Leader - Asda Produce), Katie Knaggs (Grower Development Manager - Asda), Rick Bourne (Fresh Produce Director - Asda) and Rachel Twigger (Customer Planning Manager - Asda Produce). They had a meeting at Capespan International with Ronan Lennon, managing director and had a tour of the importing, packing and storing facilities. They ended off with a meeting with Stewart Abbey, Poupart Imports Limited New Covent Garden Market (UK's largest wholesale fruit and vegetable market), Helen Evans Michael Barker, Editor of the Fresh Produce Journal, and John Valentine, managing director of Red Communications, an agency responsible for SA fruit promotions in the UK.