In a bid to address the living; working conditions and standards of living for farmworkers in South Africa. Fairtrade Africa, officially launched the Dignity for All Wine (D4A) Project at Spice Route, Paarl, on 10th September 2019. In his opening address, Mr. Zachary Kiarie, Head of Fairtrade, Southern Africa Regional Network, explained in detail the challenges we experience and have to deal with as a Continent.

The D4A Wine Impact Project is funded by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The project targets producers and workers on all Fairtrade certified Wine Estates in South Africa. The goal of the project is to work towards ensuring the right to a sustainable livelihood for worker households through improved terms, conditions and rights at the workplace. More than 60 producers, workers, and stakeholders participated in this momentous occasion to celebrate the launch.

Continental Program Manager, Marion Nganga, highlighted the significance of this project, as it is the first time, Fairtrade system successfully managed to secure funding for a project in South Africa.

With wine estates in the Western Cape being in the news for all the wrong reasons – bad working conditions; worker abuse and low wages, the D4A Impact Project aims to influence effective and sustainable changes which will afford farmworkers the right to a life of dignity.

Klaas Morkel, a worker, and the Projects and Development Coordinator at Bosman Adama acknowledged Fairtrade’s role in the upliftment of their community through the Fairtrade Premium that they receive with every sale made on Fairtrade terms. He further commented, “We have been able to empower our youth and the elderly, thanks to Fairtrade. One of our young ladies won silver in Ireland at a karate competition. We have a day-care that takes care of 73 kids which means their parents can focus on work. We are excited to be part of the D4A Wine Impact Project.”

“Value must be added to the lives of people in the same way that value is added to the environment. The Fairtrade system is a vehicle through which dignity is restored to the livelihood of farmworkers in a dignified manner.” Mario Williams, Fairtrade Officer at Koopmanskloof Wine Estates.

A large turnout and commitment of various implementing partners and Western Cape provincial government bodies promises delivery of the five (5) expected outputs:

•           Increased worker productivity in Fairtrade-certified wine estates

•           Improved worker welfare in Fairtrade-certified wine estates

•           Increased gender equality in Fairtrade-certified wine estates

•           Increased opportunities for vulnerable people (youth, migrant workers, farm dwellers, persons with disabilities, OVC)

            •           Enhanced awareness of freedom of association

D4A Wine Impact Project Coordinator for South Africa, Athenkosi Gosani said, that her hope is that the D4A Project, not only provides an avenue to enhance workers lives but also to foster better working partnerships & relationships between management and workers. Furthermore, for the greater wine sector forums/policyholders, through the project, to work together in achieving something special that trickles downs to all farms associated with Fairtrade Africa.

Attendees enjoyed delicious Fairtrade coffee and tea generously donated by Bean There and Heiveld respectively.

The project was officially launched by Ms. Dikeledi Pitso, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture, Western Cape, who assured attendees that the department is looking forward to a fruitful collaboration.

For queries please contact Sandra Ndlovu: s.ndlovu@fairtradeafrica.net / +27 71 127 5887

About Fairtrade Africa

Fairtrade is a global movement which addresses the injustices of conventional trade by supporting smallholder farmers and workers to secure better terms of trade.

Fairtrade Africa (FTA), a member of the wider International Fairtrade movement, represents Fairtrade certified producers in Africa and the Middle East. FTA currently supports over 420 producer organizations in 32 countries certified to Fairtrade Standards. This, in turn, enables them to access markets, decent working conditions and fairer terms of trade. (www.fairtradeafrica.net)

Fairtrade International is the umbrella organization for Fairtrade worldwide. Through Fairtrade, consumers connect with producers with the aim of reducing poverty through trade.

There are currently three Producer Networks (PNs), namely Fairtrade Africa: representing farmers and workers in Africa & the Middle East; CLAC: representing farmers and workers in Latin America & the Caribbean, and NAPP: representing farmers and workers in Asia & the Pacific.

SOUTH AFRICA falls under Fairtrade Africa: Southern Africa Network (FTA-SAN) www.fairtradeafrica.net