A: Qualification BSC Chemistry and Physics. I’d worked in the paint industry, which gave me my coating experience. I’d also worked in the paper industry that gave me more experience in handling paper coating.
Q: What drove you to work with sodium metabisulphite and table grapes?
A: I was chatting to a gentleman one lunchtime who was asked to try to do something with SO2 and table grapes. I said, I know how to, I can do that and that’s how it all started.
Q: What was the genesis for the design of Uvasys and the dual release concept?
A: The present dual release concept at the time, the first stage wasn’t adequate enough. It all evolved from there, looking for better ways.
Q: Where were the first samples made?
A: They were made in my house, in the kitchen. It was only about 5 years later that I built a laboratory in the garden as the project took over the kitchen, dining room and more rooms, so it was time to build a laboratory!
Q: What were some of the early challenges you had to overcome during the development stages?
A: The South African table grape season always seemed to end far too quickly with the amount of samples and variations of products that needed testing. When the season ended, our trials stopped too, till the next year. It was only years later when we started conducting trials in California, which was outside of the South African table grape season.
Q: How long did it take you to develop a commercially viable product?
A: 11 years! A as we were dependant on the annual table grape season.
Q: What made you decide on the construction to achieve what we now know as Uvasys?
A: The materials used in the construction of Uvasys gave the most predictable results.
Q: Why did you call the product Uvasys?
A: “Uva” is the Spanish word for grape, and the “sys” is short for system.
Q: How similar is the current product to earlier proto types, and, after South Africa, which was the first international country?
A: Very similar. Greece followed as the first international country.
Q: Why Greece?
A: Carlos Crisosto, UC Davis Postharvest Technology Centre, presented a paper on Uvasys at a Table Grape Symposium. Angelos went to Carlos after his presentation and got my details, contacted me and said who sells your product in Greece. After chatting to Angelos, I said to him, you can sell it in Greece. That’s how we got started in Greece. Just like you said to me, who’s selling Uvasys in Australia. It all started from there!
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