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South Africa wine to support Fairtrade communities

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

With the World Cup 2010 kicking off in South Africa, the Fairtrade Foundation has launched a „Sip for South Africa campaign“ to encourage football fans to switch their usual tipple to Fairtrade and help support Fairtrade farmers, workers and their communities in the country. Fairtrade certified wine producers hit a double strike with Fairtrade as they receive the Fairtrade minimum price for their grapes - or the world market price whichever is higher -, as well as a Fairtrade premium which Fairtrade producers in South Africa invest in projects such as housing for workers, day care centres, college bursaries, computer labs, adult education classes and pension schemes. The Fairtrade premium is also being used to encourage youngsters to play the beautiful game for physical exercise. One of the Fairtrade wine brands taking part in the Sip for South Africa campaign is Stellar Organics based at Trawal in the Western Cape. They have chosen to invest some of the Fairtrade premium in a local football team Stellar United as a way of bringing youngsters together to help tackle youth crime. The premium funds have been used to buy kit and there are now plans to invest the money in a new pitch. The project has helped spur eight other local teams from local farms who have set up a mini league.

Berty Jones, a former handyman and now Cellar Master at the Stellar Winery, says the football team has been a great success. „There was nothing for youngsters to do and many were turning to crime and drinking,“ says Berty. „The team gave them motivation as well as providing them with other life skills such as leadership. In fact some of them are now working for Stellar and training in the wine business.“ Fairtrade wines is a growing category and volumes for Fairtrade wine grew last year (2008 – 2009) by 37 % from 4,500 tonnes to 6,000 tonnes of wine grapes, the Fairtrade Foundation reports. Fairtrade wine brands Fairhills, Thandi, Origins and Stellar Organics are taking part in the campaign to encourage more consumers to switch their usual tipple to Fairtrade and help make a difference to Fairtrade supported communities in South Africa. Recent Fairtrade award winners include Stellar Organics Heaven and Earth which won the silver Decanter Award and the Gold International Wine Challenge and at the International Wine Challenge 2010, three Thandi wines were commended. Other Fairtrade products from South Africa include oranges, rooibos tea, apples, pears and soap made by Township Trades in Cape Town, a project for young people impacted by HIV and poverty.

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