Getting to know Horaychio, Behind the Produce
7 July 2022

Behind the Produce: Horaychio Williams

Horaychio joined the Vanguard International team in Cape Town 3 years ago as an Administrative & Logistics Associate. Horaychio has become a key team member with South African operations, order entry, invoicing, and numerous administrative tasks in the office. Although he had no previous exposure to the fruit export business, he was very keen to get involved and to apply his good administrative and communication skills. Above all, he is a committed colleague who always looks out for his teammates! 

Let’s get to know Horaychio a little more!

VG- Has Cape Town always been home, or did you re-locate for work?  

Horaychio: In 2014 I received an amazing opportunity to work in France as a special needs therapist for a few years. Living in Paris, and then the South of France, was a dream come true, but Cape Town will always be home.  

VG – Have you always been destined for fresh produce?  How did your career begin? 

Horaychio: Honestly, no. If you had asked me before 2019 if working in the fresh produce industry was in the cards, I would probably have just laughed.  However, when the South African team approached me through a recruitment agency, I could not pass up the opportunity.  

Seeing the enthusiasm, good ethics, and comradery between Henk, Pierre, Gerald, and the rest of our global company made the decision to join the team an easy one.  

VG – We are well into managing in a global pandemic – what have been the greatest challenges?  Any positive outcomes of a change in SOP?  

Horaychio: One of the greatest challenges I’ve faced has been drawing boundaries between working hours and non-working hours. Working from home has made it super easy to be online and available 24/7.  Now that things are normalizing, it has been challenging to switch back to office hours and limiting work to emergencies only after hours. 

One of the positive outcomes of a change in SOP has been that it has forced us to think and work outside of the box when it comes to the industry. We have all been forced to learn a different way of working and communicating with one another to get the job done. 

VG – Whose day do you impact on a regular basis. Who hears from you the most?   

Horaychio: I would have to say the guys in the South African office hear from me the most, but I’m pretty sure Laura, Tamra, Jossi and Lily hear from me just as much. Over the last 2 years, I have also been dealing directly with our customers on documentation issues (especially when it comes to our Egyptian business). 

VG – What has been a memorable moment of your time with Vanguard?  

Horaychio: The most memorable moment at Vanguard has been at the end of 2019 when we had one of the most successful seasons Vanguard South Africa has had to date, made even more memorable since I joined Vanguard in March 2019. This was a really great feeling, to be part of a team that kept pushing the business to reach new heights. 

VG – What does your free time look like! Spending time with family, friends?  

Horaychio: Most of my free time I spend with my husband and family, reading on the beach and our traditional braai (BBQ). We also spend a lot of time outside sightseeing and experiencing South Africa, but my biggest love is my aquarium that I find myself working on almost daily. 

VG – Do you have a favorite produce item? If yes, how do you prefer to eat it (Snack? Signature Recipe?)  

Horaychio: An Avocado is my favorite produce item, hands down. I’ve probably eaten one every single day of my life since I was born (is what my mother and husband would say), but I don’t think I’m that bad… I will say, I do love Avo’s in salads and sushi the most though.