Fourteen wine merchants in Hong Kong have joined ‘Over the Rainbow’ fundraising campaign to support South African wine industry, which has been heavily hit by coronavirus pandemic particularly due to successive bans on the sale of alcohol totaling some 14 weeks.
The campaign running from August 16 to end of October will donate HK$10 per bottle of South African wine sold in the city to Pebbles Project and Anna Foundation, two charity organisations that focus to enrich the lives of disadvantaged children and families in the agricultural communities of the Western Cape.
South Africa is the world’s 8th biggest wine producer and its wine industry values around US$1.5 billion, with roughly half sold domestically. The pandemic this year dealt a heavy blow to many of the country’s wine producers, growers, and distributors as the country introduced a ban on domestic booze sales and wine exports. As alcohol sales resumed in the country on August 16, impacts on the industry are however far-reaching.
Marcus Ford, Wines of South Africa (WOSA) Asia Market Manager, remarked, “The wine industry in South Africa employs almost 300,000 people whose livelihoods are now being threatened by the Covid situation and the Government’s response.
“For now exports provide a lifeline to the wine producing community in South Africa that can help to sustain the thousands of families dependent on the industry. We are thrilled to see the broader wine community in Hong Kong’s support for South Africa and it’s wine family, the Pebbles project and the Anna Foundation are close to our hearts and we are extremely grateful that so many importers are have joined this fantastic program”.
Pebbles Project helps children and their families by providing support and intervention in five key areas: Education, Health, Nutrition, Community and Protection; while Anna Foundation addresses the educational and social needs of rural children, helps them to build positive self-worth and self-respect through its 3 Rs Programme: Reading, Running and Right-ing.
The 14 participating wine merchants so far include both online and retail shops Babington Wines, Cellar To Door Wines, Corney & Barrow, La Cabane, MyiCellar, Ponti Wine Cellars, Sarment, Summergate Fine Wines, Two More Glasses, Wine Rhetorica and wine’n’things, as well as three start-ups specializing in South African wine, Progeny Wines, Springbok Wines and Wine Impala.
Betsy Haynes, Managing Director of wine’n’things, a wine importer focuses on New World Wine and has a reputable range of South African wine, said, “We have been working with some South African wine producers for more than 25 years and they are like a family to us. Wine lovers in Hong Kong are discovering the exceptional quality of South African wine and we hope to use this opportunity to introduce more exciting wines to them, and at the same time, bringing hope and smiles to South African children and their families.”