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Carmen Stevens triumphs through adversity

The words resilient and tenacious come to mind when one hears the name Carmen Stevens, owner of Carmen Stevens Wines in Stellenbosch. Carmen had no easy entry into the wine industry when she applied to study winemaking shortly before the dawn of democracy in South Africa. Breaking down walls For most women in the 90’s, studying for a career that favored males was very difficult, but for Carmen, being a woman of colour and wanting to break through the man-made wall painted ‘reserved for whites’, it was even more extreme.  Being declined twice due to her race, she eventually forced the college to accept her, and was subjected to the worst levels of racism and victimization during her student years

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La RicMal Wines breaks through barriers to achieve their ultimate goal

Running a business comes as naturally as breathing for Malcolm Green.  Having started his first business at the young age of 17, Malcolm developed into a seasoned businessman with more than forty years’ experience in the trade. Malcolm is co-owner of La RicMal Wines, which he shares with his son Ricardo, and together the two are making huge inroads into the wine industry. The early days The Green family are no strangers to the wine industry.  Malcolm and his wife Cheryl started Green’s Bottle Recyclers in 1979, supplying recycled and new wine bottles to the industry.  The company grew into the biggest bottle recycling business in South Africa with five branches across the country and employed over 500 people at

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Khumbuzile Mosoma adds huge value to wine industry transformation unit

Please note Afrikaans version follows English text Khumbuzile Mosoma has been appointed as the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) representative board member for the South African Wine Industry Transformation Unit (SAWITU) from July 2021. Masoma, who previously occupied various positions in both the public and private sectors, is currently the senior manager for Agribusiness Development at the NAMC.  She brings a wealth of expertise in the fields of agribusiness development, market access, transformation, economics, research and finance, which will greatly contribute to the advancement of the transformation strategies and programmes for the wine industry. Masoma holds a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics and is currently studying for her PhD in Economics.  She serves on various committees within the

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Libby’s Pride Wines see the silver lining during tough times

In a time when the wine industry is still reeling from the sudden and 4th ban on alcohol sales, Elizabeth (Libby) Petersen, owner and CEO of Libby’s Pride Wines reflects on her business and how it has grown over the years.  “We have to stay positive”, she says “and adapt to our ever-changing environment.” It has not been an easy journey for Libby.  Losing her job while coping with her husband’s life-threatening illness, Libby took a leap of faith and started her own wine company in 2009.  In the early years she struggled to get funding to grow her business.  Black-owned brands did not get the recognition or support they deserved, and it was only after the South African Wine

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Ntsiki Biyela ventures into uncharted territory

Ntsiki Biyela, founder of Aslina Wines has recently been announced as the new brand ambassador of Subaru Southern Africa. When SAWITU (South African Wine Industry Transformation Unit) chatted to her about this wonderful achievement, it became very clear why this match was written in the stars! The similarities between Ntsiki’s story and the Subaru brand is almost uncanny, but so relevant for this newly formed partnership. “My life is a story of endurance and going where no-one has gone before.  This is what the Subaru brand means to me”, says Ntsiki.  She will be testing out three different Subaru models, the Forester, Outback and XV to find the one she likes most, which is indicative of how she selects the

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SAWITU collaborates with labour unions to advance transformation through training and development

The South African Wine Industry Transformation Unit (SAWITU) continuously engages with stakeholder groups to advance transformation on multiple levels in the wine industry.   One of these levels is training and development. Although SAWITU has been funding qualifying students to further their education at tertiary institutions, they also identified a need for assistance to primary and secondary production workers.  The organisation therefore collaborates with labour unions to facilitate training and skills development for farm and cellar workers in the wine producing regions. “SAWITU is committed to working in collaboration with labour unions to uplift and empower workers in the wine industry, “says Wendy Petersen, Operations Manager of SAWITU.  “One of the ways in which we do this, is to fund training

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