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Fine food producers get together in the Western Cape

The food industry has great appeal for entrepreneurs – but success is a slog. Many local SMME producers come up with astoundingly highly quality and innovative products and, in a development aimed at abetting their road to riches, a group of them in the Western Cape have come together to create a new support body, the Western Cape Fine Food Initiative.


Shreef Abass, CEO of SpiceMecca, and Francois te Water Naude, two key figures in the WCFFI.
They were snapped in Cape Town this week at an informative workshop,
“Inside the Mind of a Speciality Food Buyer”. This was followed by one-on-one sessions for participants with sector experts.
The two days were co-organised with USAID
Southern Africa Trade Hub, and had the notable support of both SA’s DTI and The Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa.

One of the key drivers of the project is Francois te Water Naude, founder of So Gourmet (recently acquired by the Ububele Group) and who is now devoting his new “freedom” to it: “The Western Cape Fine Food Initiative was formed in November 2010 by a group of similarly minded food producers as a platform in which to network, share ideas and establish a voice in the very competitive food market place. We have a common vision to grow and support the fine food industry and to market this sector locally and overseas,” he says.

“We believe South Africa is at the forefront of food innovation and technology and this is borne out by the success that fine foods have had in the local and overseas markets where they compete with the best products on the world stage.”

With funding from the provincial government, the WCFFI has been set up as a Section 21 (not for gain) company and will facilitate membership, funding, marketing, training and support. It is currently assessing applications for a full-time CEO.

WCFFI Vision Statement

To guide the growth of the South African Fine Food Industry toward achieving worldwide recognition as a supplier of premium products and brands.

WCFFI Mission Statement

  • To manage, promote and protect the interest of the South African Fine Food Industry.
  • To create close links between suppliers, producers and retailers.
  • To create a conducive environment for the development of the South African Fine Food Industry by means of a membership-based platform.
  • To share information on training provision to fulfill the needs of the organisation.
  • To promote services, operations and functions of the South African Fine Food Industry including procurement, processing, marketing, sales and distribution in respect of the products of the industry.

Definition of Fine Food Products
Foods and beverages that exemplify quality, innovation and style in their category. Their specialty nature derives from some or all of the following characteristics: their originality, authenticity, ethnic or cultural origin, specific processing, ingredients, limited supply, distinctive use, extraordinary packaging or specific channel of distribution or sale. By virtue of their differentiation in their categories, such products maintain a high perceived value and often command a premium price.

Membership 
All appropriate food producers and related businesses are encouraged to join the Initiative. There are three levels of membership as follows:

  • Trade Membership (manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers)
  • Associate Membership (service providers)
  • Corporate Membership (larger companies and groups)

For more information, please contact Francois te Water Naude at francois@blombos.com; 082 775 4048.

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