Grant Wingrove joins Delecta to focus on the Far East Markets
Over the last 22 years Delecta Fruit has shown significant growth and positioned itself as a key player in the South African fruit exporting industry. No doubt, the ability to anticipate and adjust to every changing weather, economic and legislative changes are the name of the exporting game. However, we strongly believe that the careful selection of our team, our producers and our buyers (both local and international) are even more important contributing factors to our growth.
With this in mind, we took another step in the direction of strengthening our team and expanding our client base by adding Grant Wingrove to the Delecta team in June 2019.
Known for his expertise and experience in China, Hong Kong and South East Asian Markets, Grant takes the position of Trade Manager and will be instrumental in expanding our global footprint to the Far East Markets.
We managed to connect with him after a recent trip to Hong Kong, to find out a bit more:
Tell us a bit about your experience in the fruit exporting industry to date
Prior to joining Delecta I spent 14 years running the South African office as General Manager of Orion Pacific Traders. I was responsible for the day to day running of the business, which included trading, overseeing logistics and staff management. Orion’s main focus was developing and trading into the Far East markets and more than 80% of the fruit moved during my time there, went to the Far East markets.
What was your motivation behind joining Delecta?
The decision to join Delecta was an easy one for me for the following reasons:
The South African landscape for exporters is changing rapidly and is very different from where it was ten
years ago. The global importers prefer to work with exporters that control their own grower shareholder
supply and I see very limited opportunity for trading only companies to exist in the future. Delecta is
predominantly a grower shareholder business and the majority of the volume we move as a company
comes from our carefully selected grower shareholders – this attracted me.
I have worked closely with Delecta over many years and have been lucky enough to get to know most of Delecta’s excellent key people prior to them approaching me. I am excited to become part of a team of dedicated, friendly people and I feel honoured to be able to help Delecta grow its footprint even more in the global market.
Through my past dealings with Delecta it was very clear that we believed in the same core principles of doing business: integrity, dedication and diligence. It was clear to me that Delecta is dedicated to doing business the right and proper way. As a company, they are known for going the extra mile for their growers and customers. They build long standing, profitable relationships, and as a result they enjoy the loyalty of both their producers and buyers. This resonates with my work ethic and is something I have always been passionate about.
What are you hoping to add to the Delecta team?
Due to my previous focus on China and Southeast Asia, I bring extensive knowledge of each of the Asian markets. I understand the exact requirements and know how to successfully trade in these markets.
I also understand who the key role players are in each of the Asian markets and have developed long standing relationships with some of the best importers in all of the Key Far East markets.
Furthermore, I have developed relationships with South African growers who are committed to supplying the Far East markets with the correct quality specification fruit.
I am grateful to have retained all of these relationships and will therefore be able to add these to Delecta`s portfolio, making Delecta even stronger and better, and with an increased global presence.
How would you describe the current fruit exporting landscape, the Far East markets? What are the current opportunities and challenges for local exporters who are eager to break into that market?
Though there are many challenges to conducting successful business in China and the rest of the Southeast Asian market, these markets will without a doubt lead to the biggest growth for the South African fruit export industry in the years to come.
To be successful in these markets, it is vital for any South African exporter to do so with a good knowledge and understanding of both the importers’ business, as well as the quality specifications required to be successful in the markets. Doing business in Asia is very profitable if it’s conducted in a proper way. However, on the flip side, it can be disastrous if a company tries to enter the market without proper knowledge and insight.
Comment on the South African fruit offering compared to other countries who export to the East-Asian market. Do we have an advantage, and if so, what do you think it is?
The demand in China and Southeast Asia for South African product is very strong!
In years to come, we expect China to open up even more to South African product, and we are hopeful of positive trade agreements between our governments on pears and stone fruit in the near future. This will lead to even greater volumes going into this profitable market. With Delecta`s strong position on Pome and Stone fruit, we will be in an excellent position to take full advantage of the opportunities that exist.
The future is bright!
Grant lives in Noordhoek with his wife Emma and two children, Lloyd and Rachel. He is also an avid sports fan, who enjoys watching cricket, rugby and football.
Grant (far left) along with Stefan du Plessis (second from elft) and Awie de Jager (far right) from Delecta Fruit, during a recent trip to Shanghai where they met with potential buyers.