- Published on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 15:25
- Written by Rosie Martin
The first 26 wines to be receive the new, traceable ethical seal in South Africa will be on show at next week's Cape Wine trade exhibition in Cape Town.
It is hoped all South African producers will be accredited with the new seal, which demonstrates the wineries have adhered to ethical practices laid down by the Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trade Association (WIETA), by 2015.
Those practices follow both the International Labour Conventions Ethical Trading Initiative and South African labour legislation. This code prohibits the use of child labour, and ensures that employment is freely chosen with all employees working within a healthy and safe environment.
Su Birch, chief executive of Wines of South Africa, praised the first wineries to get the seal. "They are the trailblazers who are setting an important precedent for the industry in its efforts to fast-track the implementation of fair labour practices on wine farms and in cellars," she said.
The wineries include Fairview, Robertson Winery, Distell, Durbanville Hills and Spier.
The ethical seal will be awarded to individual wines, rather than the winery, enabling producers to source grapes from a number of different vineyards and still use the seal. "As compliance has to be fully traceable across the entire production chain, every wine submitted has to be individually audited," said Birch.
In order to carry the seal WIETA chief executive, Linda Lapparoni explained: "Brand owners have to identify all their suppliers. At least 60% of these suppliers had to be WIETA accredited, with the other 40% able to demonstrate that they were preparing themselves for accreditation within a year."
The producers awarded the seal will only be able to use it for one year, in a legally binding agreement with WIETA. They will then be required to renew the agreement annually for the subsequent vintages.