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Fair Wine - Towards more sustainable South African vineyards

Main language: English

Available subtitles : French and English

Length: 21 min

With the participation of: Charmaine Gola, Mario Williams, Bernadette November, Mineke Toerien & Anthony Rezant

Film Locations: Koopmanskloof vineyards and Pebbles Project center

Released on September 21 2018


South African wines are becoming increasingly well-known and exported all over the world, however the living and working conditions for employees and their families are not always ideal. Living directly inside the wine-growing estates, they form real communities that are sometimes disadvantaged and isolated from urban infrastructure, schools or even healthcare services.

As the Pebbles Project Association developed an educational system for children through remarkably comprehensive coverage, some “fair-trade” vineyards such as Koopmanskloof Winery, have decided themselves to adapt some interesting ethical trade concepts.

What are their initiatives and how are they attempting to reduce social inequalities within their communities?

« I’m proud to say that our current managing director, Rydal Jeftha is the person responsible for bringing the first fair trade wine onto the international market. »

Photo of Mario Williams

Mario Williams

Koopmanskloof fair-trade officer

« We are fair trade but we need to do something about it and we can save more money than [other workers] »

Photo of Anthony Rezant

Anthony Rezant

Treasurer of the Fair Trade Proceeds

« I think our five pillars approach aim to manage every aspect and fulfill all the gaps in children’s lives. »

Photo of Charmaine Gola

Charmaine Gola

Fundraising and PR Manager of Pebbles Project

« We’re here for the well-being of the children and their families, they need our help to improve their everyday life… »

Photo of Bernadette November

Bernadette November

Social Worker for Pebbles Project

Why this video report?

When we discovered Stellenbosch, we were struck by the region’s richness and the abundance of its vineyards. However, the gap in living standards between employers and employees is heavily divided and communities living directly on the winery grounds are themselves often isolated and disadvantaged. 

What interested us in Pebbles Project is its willingness to participate in the development of these communities through education. Far from thinking only of schools, they set up a particularly comprehensive system and remind us that a child or a community that does not benefit from basic needs such as access to healthcare or nourishment cannot fully be part of an educational system.

As interesting as this approach is, we think there is something missing because it’s this very system that leads to this prosperity gap and keeps workers in uncertainty:   

On a visit of a Fair Trade vineyard, we were interested in the concept of ethical business practices and its explicit application. While this represents a step towards a fairer society, these principles should without a doubt be the foundation of all businesses rather than certain ones.

And don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below about this report and the wine industry in South Africa

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Impro-tarot, Gypsy-Pno, Impro-Anne-Allez, Pierre & Soon by Hicham Chahidi

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