22-28 May will see the 11th Biennial Global Conference of the WFTO in Mombasa, Kenya. Our very own Faa-iekah Ryland will be representing South Africa on behalf of the SFTMS pilot project. This event will be attended by WFTO members and supporters from five continents. The meeting is the largest global gathering of fair trade organizations and other actors providing opportunity for producers and buyers to dialogue on issues that affect them as they engage in fair trade.
Members will discuss major issues around both the organizational structure of WFTO itself, and the way members do business with each other and with the external market.
We’ll be launching a house red and white wine to add to the Ukuva U-Tube Wine collection. These two products will be available here and ever after as the beginning of our range of great wines. We’ve been umming and ahhing over what to call these two and there is currently a Facebook competition going to find the best names. The winner will be one of the first to receive a few U-Tubes as a prize for their creative contribution. See the link and help us name our Nu-Tubes: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=202011366502772
U-Tube has been getting in on the scene in Cape Town over the last few weeks. As any new friend should, we’ve been taking the little buddy out and about and introducing it to a lot of great and talented people. Firstly, thanks to Your’s Truly for combining your efforts with ours at the art exhibition recently held at your awesome coffee shop down on Long Street. We had a lot of fun sponsoring this event and tubricating the guests all evening.
For Easter, U-Tube deciding to get down and dirty and bring back something that we all love to hate…a music era that hasn’t yet got enough years on it for the shame to die down. Yes sir, we revived late 90’s dance tunes much like Jesus revived himself and man did we all celebrate! To the cringe-worthy sonic hell that is the ‘Thong Song’, mash-ups of Darude and some complimentary TLC (gee, thanks) all two-hundred or so of you crazy kids pulled into The Raapenberg Road Commune and jammed hard and happy whilst swigging our U-Tube infused 100 litre strong punch. Wait for the pictures…
It wasn’t all play and no work for the wine with a will though. Pick ‘n Pay has taken on the U-Tube and we now proudly stock the shelves in various fine P ‘n P outlets with our four friends (the 101, 102, 501 and 502). Amped!
See you around…
True Product Innovation within the Global Food and Drink Industry
We’re living in interesting times as we sit here at our drawing boards in South Africa. The year is 2011, the start of a new financial cycle and the world is somewhat still humbled from the recession. The economic environment has once again changed the way people think, perceive, use, desire and feel about design. History shows that when the going gets tough financially, the imagination soars and some of the most innovative and timeless designs have been conceived under serious social, economic and political strain. We as a creative company have used these times to really just get back into our own heads and hearts and see what happens. There’s no place better to search for inspiration other than the culture around you, the dream in your head and the brass taxes of reality.
Design in wine packaging seems to have stagnated in time when other products were bouncing through geometric shapes, sizes and colours from every conceivable angle. Fashion, trends, fads, gimmicks and just the bland possibility that things could perhaps be different for the traditional wine vessel, made very little impact on the most ancient of beverages. This is most likely due to the massive heritage, etiquette, social idea and actual philosophy of wine, that has followed the flow of stringent and elaborate rules of ‘wine done well’.
A niche in the masses is some strange irony that presents itself at this juncture and where Ukuva iAfrica found all the tools to create their latest collection in wine, The U-Tube. In the past, good wine lingered amongst the hi-end of society as a drink for the intelligent, refined and knowledgeable folks who could afford to splurge on a classy glass bottle. A sharp degradation occurred later as the budget answer to this luxury item, in the form of ‘box’ wine. While the actual product may not have let itself down as a good one, it’s packaging served to present it as the poor cousin of the aristocratic bottle. A gap between high and low is what allowed creative designer and wine producer, Nigel Wood, the affinity to take an idea that would bridge the two sides of the wine market smoothly with the hybrid design, The U-Tube.
We received some great news from the International Food and Drinks Exhibition (IFE) in London this week, informing our office that, after being judged by a panel of independent industry leaders we have won the prestigious award as the Winner of the “Fresh Ideas of 2011” for “True Product Innovation within the Global Food and Drink Industry”. Our unique packaging design for the U-Tube, officially launched last week, has already earned us international wine industry appreciation and unprecedented retail market interest thus far.
Ukuva are interested in the extended design potential of the U-Tube and would like to see it re-purposed as much as possible. The U-Tube as a design piece should be in a constant state of flux. After its day is done as a unique wine vessel, it can become a plant pot, a piñata, a piece of pop art… The delight of transient design in South African Wine is something Ukuva would like to enjoy along with our customers and are willing to reward for the most original ideas to come forward. Details of our re-purposing competitions will be posted onto our website as well as our various social networking pages.
Working with people who are on the same page when it comes to social responsibility is the only way Ukuva managed to come up with their wine collections. An aesthetic that goes tube-deep in this case wouldn’t allow for the U-Tube to have the unflawed responsibility to quality and those that could use our support, which it does. We have a fifteen-year long association with the Cape Mental Health Society who help us produce our unique designs. Our wines are first class quality produced by some of the most talented wine-makers around in the Western Cape. The range is wide and caters to all palates and there is something for everyone. Our design is what allows us to extend the U-Tube to a level of innovation that means two bottles of excellent wine at a price that works for real people today.
We believe there is no excuse in this time and age to not be aware of what’s going in the world and what you can do to better it. As a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation, Ukuva Wine stands up to the mark by being a supporter and indeed ambassador of the first globally conscious trade protection company that protects the rights of marginalised producers and workers. The importance of the WFTO sticker attached to our product means that a percentage of every bottle sold is going straight back into the producer’s pocket. This is key to avoiding all the horror stories that are a very real threat to the farmers and workers who produce the product. By enjoying our fine African wines and African food, you are ensuring that those behind the scenes don’t fall prey to any mistreatment and receive a fair wage for what they do so that they might carry on in a life sustaining business environment.
Say ‘Hi’ to Dave everyone.