Cuba possible market for SA wines

Two Stellenbosch-based winemakers are determined to take advantage of the positive developments in Cuba and open an export market for their wines in the Caribbean country.

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Ben Truter, managing director of Kanu Wines, and Rydal Jeftha, managing director of Koopmanskloof Vineyards, are part of a group of South African entrepreneurs led by deputy minister of trade and industry Mzwandile Masina participating in the Havana International Trade Fair (FIHAV).

The FIHAV provides an excellent platform to identify trade opportunities in various sectors of the Cuban economy. “I was here two years ago on an exploratory visit just to assess the market and see if there was any opportunity for us to export our wines to the country. Unfortunately, we found that it was an impenetrable market at the time. We are glad that things are changing and the environment is different now,” said Truter.

He attributed the fast changing environment to the new developments resulting from the normalisation of relations with the US.

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“This is the time for us to establish our presence here. Things will be more difficult in future as more companies will be targeting Cuba as a new export market for their products,” he added.