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Generic promotion of ostrich leather by the South African Ostrich Business Chamber (SAOBC)

The SAOBC, being the representative body of the 1 000 ostrich farmers, six EU-approved abattoirs, nine ostrich leather tanneries and three ostrich feather processing plants, has as one of its core functions the retention of existing markets and creation of new markets for the industry’s products; especially ostrich leather.

In order to do this, the SAOBC initiated various awareness-raising/ generic promotion campaigns since 2007. The SAOBC greatly appreciates the final assistance provided by the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry).These projects include the following:

  • Placing of advertisements regarding the unique character and superior quality of South African ostrich leather in various target publications such as:
    • SAWUBONA (SAA’s in-flight magazine).
    • The ARPEL-magazine published in Milan (Italy) and translated in five European languages.
    • The Japanese publication, BAGAZINE.
  • The next level of advertisements consists of advertisements of top-designers and manufacturers of ostrich leather products in international publications (including in-flight magazines of international air lines). These advertisements do not contain any reference to the SAOBC and its members, and are purely focused on brands like LORENZI, VIA LA MODA and CAPE COBRA. These advertisements are being published in magazines like:
    • SAWUBONA (SAA)
    • Open Skies (Emirates)
    • Delta Sky (Delta Airlines)
    • Lufthansa Magazine (Lufthansa Airlines)
    • High Life (British Airways)
    • Airfrance Magazine (Air France)
    • Horizons (British Airways in Southern Africa)
    • Skyways (Airlink)
    • ARISE (Africa’s first international style magazine)
    • Live Out Loud (Exclusive magazine for high net worth individuals)
    • Prive (Sun International)
  • Commission and sponsor designers to design and make exclusive ostrich leather garments. The purpose is to create new users of ostrich leather. Some of the designers who were sponsored already are:
    • Gavin Rajah (who participated in the Paris Fashion Week with these garments).
    • Deon Oelofse ( whose designs were showcased by various Miss and Mrs’ South Africa and were also on the catwalks at Fashion Shows in Moscow, Milan, Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon, Cape Town, Pretoria, Johannesburg).
    • Kobus Dippenaar
    • Hip-Hop
    • Gabi Rosenwerth
    • Malick
    • Caducci Women
    • Caducci Men
    • Craig Port
    • Elbeth Gilles
    • Jaco Snyman
    • Paul van Zyl
    • House of Monatic
    • Hendrik Vermeulen
    • Zinzi Couture
  • Sponsorship to events like the Cape Town Carnival, where the above-mentioned designers’ garments were showcased.
  • Sponsor Mrs. South Africa’s dress for the crowing gala event as well as another dress for her participation in the Mrs. World Pageant.
  • Sponsor Mrs. South Africa to participate and showcase the ostrich leather dresses and hand bags at high-level events such as the “J&B Met Horse Race”, the “Durban July Horse Race”.
  • Participation in International Trade Missions, organised by the DTI to various countries. The SAOBC actively participates by sponsoring the following:
    • Luncheons consisting of four course ostrich meat meals, prepared by a SA chef who was taken along by the SAOBC;
    • Showcasing SA ostrich leather dresses by models of the host country. These models handed out brochures on SA ostrich leather (printed in the language of the host country) as well as small ostrich leather goods as gifts.
  • Sponsoring final year students at international Fashion Design Schools in various cities (Milan, Paris, etc.) with ostrich leather. The SAOBC also compiled a training booklet and uses guest lecturers to inform the students about the unique characteristics of South African ostrich leather, in order for the students to create ostrich leather fashion goods that are being showcased at various events. The ultimate objective of these sponsorships is to create a new generation of users of ostrich leather - and in doing so, contributes to the sustainability of the industry.

Conclusion

These above-mentioned activities are some of the generic promotion/ awareness raising projects of the SAOBC and it contributes to retaining South Africa’s position as world leader in the ostrich industry with 78% market share.

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