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I, personally, have kept a close eye on how the story with the Ubuntu and Woolworths played out over the weekend and I am happy to report that it’s a good day to be proudly South African.
As an owner of a brand new technology in South Africa, I approached Woolworths with my new, patent-protected, product and was alarmed, not by it’s rejection, but by the response of one of their marketing team where she stated, and I quote, “Please note that we monitor international and local trends closely and invest heavily in new product development. It is not inconceivable that we, together with our existing suppliers and/or new suppliers, may be discussing and/or developing products similar to yours“. You can imagine my deep concern when I read what I saw was a legitimization of using our innovative technology to develop their own brand.
It is thus with huge relief and pride that I witnessed the transparency, cooperation and honesty in which Woolworths has dealt with the Ubuntu situation.
Who knows… maybe Ella Coffee will be the next of their proudly South African products?
Neil Hellmann? CEO Ella Coffees