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Executive Heads to Speak at Independent Trade Forum

Trade Intelligence would like to introduce this year's Independent Trade Forum speakers.

Durban, South Africa, October 15, 2014 --( The 2014 edition of the Independent Trade Forum (ITF) Supplier Briefing, taking place on 12 November 2014 at the Astrotech Conference Centre, in Parktown, Johannesburg will be presented by the executive heads of leading South African independent retail and wholesale companies – Checkout Hypercheck, Fruit & Veg City, Independent Cash & Carry Group and Elite Start Trading Africa.

With 112 years of experience between them, the speakers will provide delegates with a view from the top, discuss 2015/2016 strategic imperatives and mutual trading expectations, as well as answer questions in interactive round table discussions.

The ITF speakers are:

Brian Coppin – Co-founder & MD, Fruit & Veg City
Brian has an extensive history in the FMCG retail industry in South Africa, beginning his journey with his brother, Michael, at OK Bazaars where their father was a Director. During their formative years, the brothers were both Managers at OK Bazaars before leaving at age 23 to start their own Retail and Wholesale business. They then went on to opening their first Fruit & Veg City store in Access Park in 1993. Their vision was to create a store that would resemble a marketplace of old, a store dedicated to freshness at an affordable price. In particular, Brian will discuss:

· The Group’s vision for the future
· How the Group is responding to changing consumer needs with new formats
· How its supply chain efficiencies can benefit suppliers
· Opportunities in Fruit & Veg City’s Southern African expansion strategy

Gert Scheepers – CEO, Independent Cash & Carry Group (ICC)
Gert has been in the FMCG industry for 28 years, and spent the majority of his career with manufacturers of maize, wheat and sunflower products including Gen Food, SA Oil & Continental Oil. First appointed as a representative, he worked his way through the ranks until his appointment as Managing Director of Continental Oil Mills in 2001, where he successfully turned this ailing business around. He left Continental Oil to pursue his own interests and took over the role of CEO of the Independent Cash & Carry Group in 2011. He also successfully established the ICC Buying Group in the same year.

Bryan Williams – MD, Independent Cash & Carry Buying Group
Bryan Williams started his working career at Metro Cash & Carry where he worked for five years. He then joined Delmas Milling (Tiger Milling) and was with the company when it merged all the divisions under the Tiger Brands umbrella. In his nine years at Tiger Brands, he held various positions and thereafter joined Earlybird Farms and Consol Glass. In May 2011, he joined the ICC Buying Group as Manager Director and is currently still in this role.

Gert and Bryan will cover:
· The vision ahead for the ICC Group
· The new organisational structure and retail franchise roll-out, and opportunities for suppliers
· The Group’s extensive redistribution capacity

Louis Greeff – MD, Elite Star Trading Africa (EST)
Louis Greeff first joined the National Development Corporation in Namibia. In 1983 he joined Tiger Brands where he held various directors and executive positions including sales, distribution, logistics and general management in the majority of the Tiger Brands divisions. In 2005 he jointly founded EST Africa together with three Johannesburg-based wholesalers and currently holds the position of Managing Director of the Group. Louis will be presenting to delegates:

· The Group’s vision into the future
· Opportunities for the mutual benefit of Elite Star Trading and its suppliers
· How the Group is responding to shifts in category spending

Shaene Abdulla – CEO, Checkout Hypercheck
In what started out as a small, family-run business, consisting of 6 supermarkets, Shaene Abdulla played an instrumental role as the first non-director Store Manager of Checkout in 1995, growing it into a nationally recognised corporate brand consisting of more than 55 stores. Since then, he has been involved in setting up several integral facets of the business, all geared around building the company’s strength and viability in the South African marketplace. In 2014, Shaene was honoured when the company selected him as the CEO of the newly formed division to take the group into formal retailing under the Checkstar brand. Shaene will focus on:

· The Group’s vision into the future
· Checkout’s new organisational and brand structure
· The launch of new store formats – Checkstar and Checksave

For more information or to book your seat, visit or contact Talisha Wellington on + 27 [0] 31 303 280 or

Media Contact:
Erin Monks
tel: +27 [0] 31 303 2803
Contact Information
Trade Intelligence
Erin Monks
+27 31 303 2803

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