Waarheen Wosa, Waarheen?

Daar het verlede week seker ‘n hele klomp wynboere aan hul tenkmonsters gestik toe hulle die jongste nuusbrief sien vanuit die geledere van Wosa, die organisasie wat die Suid-Afrikaanse wynbedryf in die buiteland verteenwoordig. In hierdie nuusbrief word vermeld dat daar in November in Hongkong ‘n aanbieding van Suid-Afrikaanse wyne gaan wees, gere?+¦???+¦?+¦-+?+¦-úl deur Wosa ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ soos wat die organisasie se mandaat betaam.

Wosa is egter van die mening dat die beste persoon om hierdie aanbieding te doen ene Michael Fridjhon is. Nie net gaan hy die aanbieding namens die Suid-Afrikaanse bedryf doen nie, maar hyself gaan besluit watter Suid-Afrikaanse wyne as vertoonstukke van die plaaslike wyntoneel aan die wynw?+¦???+¦?+¦-+??reld voorgehou sal word.

Mens moet jouself afvra of hierdie besluit deur Wosa werklik ‘n deurdagte een was. Is Fridjhon ‘n ambassadeur vir Suid-Afrikaanse wyne?

Die antwoord is nee.

Fridjhon, as persoon ‘n hoflike heer en iemand wie se kundigheid nie betwyfel kan word nie, is nie bemagtig om ‘n objektiewe, holistiese mening oor die bedryf te gee nie. Hiervoor het hy eenvoudig te veel gevestigde belange om “namens” die bedryf te praat.

As konsultant vir verskeie wynhandelsmerke en organiseerder van die Trophy Wine Show en die Winex-wynskou, is Fridjhon se beeld onlosmaaklik van sy status as voorste SA wynsakeman. Sy sakebelange dwing hom gevolglik om produsente te bevoordeel wat van sy dienste bereid maak of skitter by die kompetisies waarby hy betrokke is.

En as dit nie so is nie, is hy dalk nie so ‘n goeie sakeman nie?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-+?-+..

Boonop het Fridjhon as joernalis oor-en-oor bewys dat hy nie die wynbedryf se vriend is nie. Hy kraak produsente af, slinger gerugte van onwettige wynmaakpraktyke rond en verkleineer wynbedryfinisiatiewe wat poog om die bedryf te verenig ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ soos verlede jaar se 350ste vierings. Die die kleure wat van ‘n ambassadeur verwag word nie.

Maar genoeg oor Fridjhon, met wie ek persoonlik geen byltjie het om te slyp nie. Die skuld vir hierdie ondeurdagte besluit moet voor die deur van Wosa gel?+¦???+¦?+¦-+?? word.

Tot watter mate word daar met die wynbedryf gekonsulteer met betrekking tot gewigtige besluite, soos die Fridjhon-vir-China geval? En verder: wie gee vir Wosa die mandaat om betrokke te raak by bysake soos Swart Ekonomiese Bemagtiging, die beskerming van die omgewing en die uitgee van braaiboeke? Of die Fundi-debakel, waar Wosa ‘n eie wynreeks geloods wat soos ‘n loodbalon geval het.

Hoe help bogenoemde met wynverkope en ware generiese verteenwoordiging in die buiteland?

Diegene wat my daarop wil wys hoe wynuitvoere oor die afgelope jare gegroei het, is welkom. Die vraag wat ek wil teruggooi is: het die waarde van daardie uitvoere gegroei? Hier kom Wosa se swak kommunikasie weer ter sprake. Elke ses maande is daar nuus van die groei van volumes in uitvoere, maar die organisasie weier om vir ons te vertel wat die waarde van daardie uitvoere is.

Seker omdat Wosa skaam is om te erken dat hy grootliks daarin faal om toe te sien dat die beeld van Suid-Afrikaanse wyne buite die “cheap-and-cheerful”-kategorie beweeg.

,Myns insiens is die grootste probleem die kloof wat Wosa se uitvoerende hoof, Su Birch, tussen produsente en die organisasie uitgrou.

Volgens haar moet ons almal “wamkelekile” en klappende Xhosa-tonggeluide maak, maar sy self weier om een enkele woord Afrikaans te praat in ‘n bedryf waar dit die lingua franca is. Onlangs het Birch tot die stap oorgegaan van om wynjoernaliste in die media uit te trap omdat hul stellings oor die bedryf nie met haar agenda strook nie.

Gesiene die jongste Fridjhon geval, kan mens nie anders nie as om te wonder waarom Wosa nie die knaters het om haar te vervang nie. Die tyd is nou.

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17 thoughts on “Waarheen Wosa, Waarheen?

  1. What about an investigation into the connections between Cape Wine 2008 and Cape Town WineX? There are some ugly rumours that need quashing.

  2. This might be an interesting post if I could understand it.

    I tried enlisting Google Translate’s help but it tells me that this week “Wine Farmers in their tank samples stitched when they see the latest newsletter from WOSA”

    Or about Michael Fridjohn: “I personally do not byltjie to sharpen.”

    Or about Su Birch: “One cannot but wonder why WOSA not balls for her to replace”.

    English version soon? Maybe?

  3. Ja, Sally, apparently Wosa fell for the buy-two-get-one free Winex-Cape Wine option, allowing Fridjhon to profit from an industry show. No wonder he’ll go to China for Wosa!

  4. Let’s have a public investigation into how Wosa choose the wines they promote. There are very ugly stories circulating about how certain producers always seem to score. Wosa spend the best part of R30 million of industry money each year, mostly on themselves, it seems. There appears to be no accountability and very little delivery.

  5. Emile,

    Quite ballsy to write this, but indeed needed!! Yes there are a lot of things that producers would like to know more of and in more detail, but somehow the same excuses keeps coming up. We keep being told of the growth in the European and UK markets when the price points are under 1 pound of euro a bottle FOB, who can make money with the current exchange rates??? Anyway, this discussion can take very long, but there is enough evidence of producers getting more exposure than others and the same comes with wine Regions!!!

  6. Goeie artikel! Maar meer vrae as antwoorde soos altyd. Ek dink nie eimand sal so dapper wees om dalk ‘n paar antwoorde te gee nie! Like hoping Mugabe to relinquish power.
    Volgende keer moet jy dit dalk die artikel in Spaans of Frans plaas en dan kan hul nog bietjie geld spandeer om ‘n vertaler te kry.

  7. ‘n Uitdagende artikel, Emile. Probleem is, Su Birch verstaan glad nie Afrikaans nie! Hopelik sal iemand dit vir haar vertaal…

    (And for those who don’t understand Afrikaans…)
    A thought provoking article, Emile. Trouble is, Su Birch can’t read Afrikaans! Let’s hope that somebody translates it for her….

  8. Norman

    The gist of this article is very simple to translate: “Su, pack up your Kerastase and ride into the sunset with your golden handshake and take Sir Lunch-a-lot with you.”

  9. Somewhere along the way the wine industry (represented by people who don’t appear to have a vested interest in its future) seems to have decided that +ô+¦-+Gö£Göñ+ô+¦-úGö£-¦+ô+¦-+Gö£GòæEendracht Maakt Macht+ô+¦-+Gö£Göñ+ô+¦-úGö£-¦+ô+¦-+Gö£+ª is not a slogan worth pursuing. For the record
    In 2009 and again in 2010 I agreed to present a talk and tasting for South Africa at the Hong Kong Wine Trade Fair
    WOSA +ô+¦-+Gö£Göñ+ô+¦-úGö£-¦+ô+¦-ú+ô+¦+¦ which is the official body charged with the generic promotion of SA wines abroad +ô+¦-+Gö£Göñ+ô+¦-úGö£-¦+ô+¦-ú+ô+¦+¦ has provided full infrastructural support
    WOSA has never paid a cent towards my Hong Kong travel expenses. Like several other South Africans with wine industry connections (including Neil Pendock in 2009) these costs have been borne by Hong Kong (or on other occasions, by me).
    I have never been paid for this service +ô+¦-+Gö£Göñ+ô+¦-úGö£-¦+ô+¦-ú+ô+¦+¦ nor do I seek any form of remuneration for it.
    It appears to suit several of the commentators to this site (several of whom hide behind anonymity) to make unsubstantiated (and wholly untrue) allegations about me. These are then sometimes withdrawn after the damage has been done. I generally don’t respond to the yapping because the caravan has already moved on. In the context of the present debate it seems important to deal with the WineX-Cape Wine 2008 arrangements:
    In terms of the EXSA guidelines (to which the Cape Town International Convention Centre subscribes) Cape Wine 2008 could not have been held at the CTICC in the WineX closed period. A multilateral arrangement was reached by which all parties gave ground to achieve an outcome which was in the interests of the wine industry as a whole. WineX had the least reason to enter into this arrangement, and lost the greatest percentage of revenue because of it
    Accordingly Emile, Hennie and Sally can all go and stuff themselves +ô+¦-+Gö£Göñ+ô+¦-úGö£-¦+ô+¦-ú+ô+¦+¦ if they haven’t already

  10. Some fair points Emile, and with tone this string has taken I am not going to go near the CTICC conundrum. But I have a few thoughts on the argument about WOSA and the average prices of wine in the UK, which I have posted on my little blog.

    PS It’s good to read some good Afrikaans online!

  11. Hi Emile,
    Op-sy-kop kommentaar. Vir heelwat Produsente en Kelders aan “Hierdie Kant van die Berg” bied WOSA bitter min/indien enige bemarkingswaarde! Die pas blyk te hoog en die tonnel te lank te wees…
    Enjoy!
    Marius Louw

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