The recent visit of Rupert Thomas (Commercial Director of Waitrose & Partners), Andrew Allchurch (Head of Trading: Fresh Produce) and Nyika Brain (International Development Manager) had a very positive impact on the worker committees they met in different regions in the Western Cape of South Africa during a three day visit at the end of July. All meetings and worker committee interactions were extremely positive and productive for the relatively short time available.
One such example was the visit to Lushof Fruits in Saron where the committee and farm managers saw the visit as an opportunity to build a relationship with the senior management of Waitrose and to maximise the time in communicating about they were doing on the farm to the benefit of the workers and their families.
The project coordinator also took the initiative to utilise existing artistic talent amongst workers and asked Ashville Carolus to hand over a freehand sketch of Rupert Thomas that he completed after working hours, over a period of two days. He used a picture of Rupert which he found on the internet to draw his sketch. This was a humbling experience for Rupert whilst affirming the self-value of general workers and inspiring the worker committee who witnessed the interaction between Rupert and Ashville.