SOUTH AFRICA – The new umbrella body for the wine and brandy industry in South Africa, SA Wine, has received a new Chief Executive Officer and Board members.

The Vinpro and South African Liquor Brandowners Association (SALBA) boards, as founding members of SA Wine, appointed five producer directors and five brand owner directors to serve on the board as per the Memorandum of Incorporation.

The board appointed the Managing Director of Vinpro, Rico Basson as its CEO, effective June 1. Vinpro represents close to 2 600 South African wine producers, cellars, and industry stakeholders.

The new directors are Antoinette Vermooten, Anton Smuts, Boyce Lloyd (representing brandy), Sakkie du Toit, James Reid, Mohseen Moosa, Phillip Retief, Rydal Jeftha, Vivian Kleynhans, and Wessel de Wet.

Ronald Ramabulana has been appointed as an independent board member and chairperson, while Khumbuzile Mosoma from the National Agricultural Marketing Council will be an observer.

“SA Wine allows us to grow an inclusive wine industry,” said SA Wine chairperson, Ronald Ramabulana. “I am extremely excited about growing the profitability of companies in the wine value chain. I look forward to working with the Board and our new CEO, as well as all other role players in the wine industry.”

The recruitment process for other new executive roles is also underway. These roles are expected to commence employment, together with the staff transfer to SA Wine, in July 2023.

Local news agencies report that the South African wine industry is expected to have another new central body, SA Wine NPC, and the body will represent the producer and trade interests.

The body will be introduced in June 2023 and that is according to media reports coming through to BusinessTech Africa.

The introduction of a new body comes amid concerns over fragmentation within the wine industry, as farms continue to face declining profitability. 

Exports of wine from South Africa fell 5% in 2022, with the country’s trade body pointing to adverse weather and supply chain disruption.

According to data released by Wines of South Africa (WoSA), export volumes dropped 5% year-on-year to 368.8 million liters of wine. Sales by value declined 2.9% to ZAR9.9bn (US$577m).

“We want to consolidate the various wine industry bodies. Together they are funded by millions of rand a year through various levies, but are all of them still relevant?” Basson said at the annual Vinpro Information Day.

The industry bodies SA Wine Industry Information and Systems (Sawis) and Wines of South Africa (WoSA), which promote the exports of SA wine, will not be incorporated under the new central body but joined via contracts.

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