WOSA attempts to defend the decision to ban the public from the last day of three day Cape Wine 2012 on their website. The claim is made that “we are not legally able to spend our money on marketing to local consumers” so how do they explain marketing and selling their controversial braii boek in SA? This is a fig leaf WOSA are draping over a stupid decision. It’s King Canute time in Dorp Street as WOSA ignores common sense.
WOSA continues “consumers won’t be able to visit Cape Wine as we do not want to disturb the business that will hopefully be being conducted there. However, there will be wine available in the Vindaba hall for them to taste.” Since Cape Wine is a three day event, surely one day could be opened up to consumers who ultimately pay their lavish salaries? A backlash from an excluded public is the last thing SA wine needs. Major players like Distell, KWV and DGB should insist on limited public participation to head off a marketing disaster. It’s time for the dog to wag its tail.
The plan to duplicate wine tasting at the contemporaneous Vindaba wine tourism show is a total waste of resources. The two shows take place in adjoining halls and hard pressed producers are being asked to incur unnecessary expenses to have separate but equal facilities. It looks increasingly like WOSA CEO Su Birch is trying to bring Apartheid back to SA, fostering divisions between the various constituencies of SA wine.
A further concern to putative exhibitors is the exorbitant cost of “a totally new stand, made from recycled material, which is light, sturdy and simple to erect, and, best of all, reusable.” But only every second year, as the stand shown to producers last year is not suitable for the Jo’burg Wine Show, WineX, Juliett Cullinan or any other annual local trade show. WOSA should stop wasting SA wine export resources designing stands its members cannot afford and at least leave that aspect of the business to competent professionals, something tragically lacking at WOSA.
I don’t know whether I am Arthur or Martha, quite frankly. Wosa asking me to exhibit at the Wine Side of Cape 2012, then receiving proposal to dish out cash for presence on Vindaba tourism side.
How are the two going to differ? Why can’t it all be done under one roof, in one venue? Why the duplication? This smacks of the selfsame bureaucracy the wine industry always likes to knock the government with.