Gert Cloete, production manager of Summerdown, could not believe the invitation from SATI!! But once he realized it was nothing but the truth, he started with the preparations. Notebooks, pencils and a pen. A camera and a crash course in taking pictures. Blazers, check shirts, white shirts (for formal meetings), formal trousers and polished shoes. An atlas and another crash course in geography. The weather prediction for the week in London …… and an umbrella and raincoat into the brand new suitcase.

Gert represented Rekopane in London. He was one of six other nominated representatives of BEE companies of South Africa. They were invited by SATI and visited the whole grape chain and super markets, among others – IPL, ASDA, Sainsbury, Fairtrade, Poupart Imports, Sheerness, Covent Garden and Red Communications. Gert is a shareholder of Rekopane Estates and serves as trustee of the Loretlabetse Trust who manages the equity. He is the chairperson of the Waitrose and Fairtrade committees on the farm.

And behold!! We all had to sit down for a two hour meeting on his return from London. Gert explained in depth how he negotiated with the most seasoned buyers and supermarkets to the farm’s advantage. He took the most wonderful photos and told us very interesting facts and fictional stories about London and her people!

~ Written by Pieter Roos, Project Coordinator Rekopane Estate ~