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WOSA boss will quit post in New Year

Published:  23 July, 2008

by Christian Davis
One of the best-known faces in the UK wine trade, Wines
of South Africa's (WOSA) UK market manager Sophie Waggett, has decided to step down.

Waggett is pregnant and after six years at WOSA, she has decided not to return on a full-time basis after the baby

is born in early February.

She told Harpers: 'I'm not sure that I will manage seven days a week at home with a baby - no doubt I will miss the mental stimulation - but equally I don't want to work five days a week, plus evenings and weekends. I would like to stay working with WOSA on some sort of freelance basis and see how things shape up. If other offers come along I will consider them.'

Prior to joining WOSA , Waggett worked for Capespan International, the South African fruit exporter, whose brands include Cape and Outspan.

Asked how the job had changed since she started,

she said: 'Massively. Since we launched the CCT (Common Customs Tariff) scheme, the additional funds have shaped what we can do and has meant us working closely with the retailers in-store and we have been able to develop PR and advertising campaigns.

'It's an exciting time for South Africa with our marketing position of eco-friendly wines, and the quality of the wines continues to improve. With the strong rand, the producers had to look at their supply chain positions and take them forward. It has put them in a stronger position,' said Waggett.

Su Birch, CEO of Wines of South Africa, added: 'Sophie's shoes will not be easy to fill. She has done a fantastic job here in the UK and she is respected and well liked in the trade, as well as by all the South African producers.

We are very sad to lose Sohie in her full-time capacity but

will definitely work together in the future.'

There is likely to be a lot of interest in what is one of the most high-profile jobs in the UK wine sector. The recruitment of Waggett's replacement is being handled by Match Consultants. One of Match's board members is Mike Paul, former managing director of Western Wines, which owned South Africa's number one wine brand Kumala, until its parent, Vincor, was bought by Constellation.