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.
Southtrade head office is in Cape Town with branches in Johannesburg, and Groblersdal. The company is an importer, stockist, distributor, and exporter of agricultural machinery for almost any crop cultivation. Only the highest quality machinery is sourced internationally from the most reputable manufacturers. Most of these are Italian.