Gerald Brock has been part of the Vanguard global team as our Logistics & Operations Coordinator in Cape Town, South Africa for six years. Gerald started his career with Capespan at the young age of 18 and remained with that organization (previously named Unifruco) for two and a half decades! Gerald has a deep skill set and experience in fruit exports, which comes in very handy in his role, especially as we ran into the new logistics challenges caused by Covid. Gerald has been an absolute warrior steering the team through stormy logistics and operations waters.
Let’s get to know Gerald a little more!
VG- Has Cape Town always been home, or did you re-locate for work?
Gerald: I was born and bred Capetonian. My family links include the Southern and Northern Suburbs of the Western Cape, Athlone in the south, to Scottsdene in the north.
VG – Have you always been destined for fresh produce? How did your career begin?
Gerald: I was still in grade 12 when I applied successfully for an administrative position at Unifruco, which later became Capespan. This is where my now colleague Henk’s and my paths crossed some 30 years ago with me being fresh out of school. Fresh produce is where my skills and experience are career wise, and I don’t foresee that changing anytime soon.
VG – We are well into managing in a global pandemic – what have been the greatest challenges? Any positive outcomes of a change in SOP?
Gerald: All our jobs were affected by the pandemic, but perhaps no one’s more than mine. For the last 2 years my role changed to effectively managing the supply chain to getting a container, and at a rate feasible for the company. No small task in today’s environment.
VG – Whose day to you impact on a regular basis. Who hears from you the most?
Gerald: I have daily interactions with an array of role players like my teammates abroad, our logistics partners, growers, carriers, sales, and marketers – virtually every link in the entire supply chain!
VG – What has been a memorable moment of your time with Vanguard?
Gerald: I cherish the occasion when we force ourselves to have some downtime to have a team lunch together. I also enjoy visiting ports, cold storage facilities, and other in-person meetings that allow me to connect personally with our community.
VG – What does your free time look like! Spending time with family, friends?
Gerald: Like any true South African, I enjoy spending time with friends and family at a braai (barbeque)! Watching club rugby is also one of my staple pastimes on weekends if my work phone is not ringing off the hook!
VG – Do you have a favorite produce item? If yes how do you prefer to eat it (Snack? Signature Recipe?)
Gerald: I love eating all fruit, but nothing comes close to a juicy nectarine and healthy avocado. I can eat avocados for breakfast, lunch, and supper!
Every day is different at Vanguard; with new growers joining our community, new crops and fresh varieties being introduced, and new markets opening. Keep up to date with what’s happening in our expanding world.