Southtrade was founded in 1956 in Cape Town, South Africa, as an indent agency.
A few years later the company was taken over by Italian-born Ulrich Gericke. Southtrade’s history with agriculture began with the German Holder tractors and implements. Holder laid the foundation to half a century of successful agricultural machinery sales. Due to his strong Italian roots, Ulrich Gericke soon added a number of Italian brands of machinery to the Southtrade portfolio. This process has continued ever since, and today Southtrade exclusively represents over 25 Italian factories in Southern Africa.
In 1977 Ulrich Gericke was awarded the title of Commendatore della Republica in recognition of his commercial contribution towards Italian exports into Africa, as well as his private work to develop Italian culture in south Africa.
During the decades 1970 to 1990s Southtrade was a leading exporter of canned fruit. Many millions of cartons were sold mainly in West Germany, France, and Switzerland. Southtrade had a number of its own private labels which were well represented by the most European supermarket groups.
Southtrade soon became known as the specialized supplier of spraying and plant protection equipment. Its range of sprayers grew to include: knapsack sprayers; fruit and wine sprayers; open field boom sprayers; self-propelled sprayers; pest control vehicle mounted sprayers and many more. Over the years Southtrade has added selected agricultural machines to its range, including ground engagement ranges; sprayer accessories; haymaking equipment; vegetable and fruit harvesters; fertilizer spreaders; and other agricultural machinery.
After over 60 years, Southtrade remains a family business, offering dynamic personal attention to its ever growing client base. A highly motivated and experienced sales team are responsible to service to a network of agents and dealerships in practically all corners of the Republic of South Africa and in neighbouring territories.
Southtrade sources its agricultural machinery from only the most reputable international manufacturers that offer the most reliable equipment and cutting edge technology. Careful consideration is therefore given before adding new brands to their range. Southtrade works with mutually exclusive distribution agreements which facilitate investment in stock and training of staff.
The company has built a reputation as a reliable partner and has consequently acquired a sizeable share of the agricultural machinery market in Southern Africa. Today many of its brands are market leaders.
Southtrade remains known as a specialized supplier of spraying and plant protection equipment, with a reputation of market leader. It has the fullest possible range offering solutions to every conceivable sprayer application. Southtrade’s brands of sprayers: Nobili, B-Group, and Martignani are beyond doubt the best three alternatives proven time and again by a multitude of international tests
Today Southtrade represents many other leading Italian brands, including: Annovi Reverberi, Braglia, B-Group, Bellon, Marangon, Fruit-tec, N.Blosi, Zucal, Guaresi, and many more.
Southtrade’s product pallet offers solutions to almost all types of crop farmers including: vineyards, fruit, vegetables, haymaking, etc . In this way it has been able to hedge against the seasonal fluctuations often associated with agriculture.
Since 1995 Southtrade is located in Brackenfell, in the outskirts of Cape Town. The building houses a formal show room, 3000 square meters of warehousing and spacious comfortable offices for sales and administrative staff. The location is at the heart of the SA wine and fruit industry. This has led to a regular daily flow of clients.
In order to ensure strong future growth, Southtrade is continually identifying and bringing new technology to Southern Africa.
After over 60 years of continuous growth, Southtrade’s remarkable success continues and the company remains the most serious supplier of the best agricultural machinery in Southern Africa.