28 September 2012

South African wines to carry ethical seal

The Wine & Agricultural Industry Ethical Trade Association (WIETA) have introduced a seal that guarantees fair labour practices in the production of wine.

Durbanville Hills. Durbanville Hills wines will carry the WIETA ethical seal.

They [the wine producers] 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. - Su Birch, Wines of South Africa (WOSA) CEO.

There’s an important label that one should look out for when next purchasing a bottle of South African wine. It's a new seal that guarantees fair labour practices in wine production, endorsed by the Wine & Agricultural Industry Ethical Trade Association (WIETA).

The seal is granted to individual wines (as opposed to the wineries themselves) and, recently, 26 wines were given the green light to bear the new seal, including wines from Fairview, Distell, Tukulu, Durbanville Hills, Robertson Winery and Spier.

WIETA's new seal isn't just another example of clever marketing to sell more wines. To be entitled to carry the ethical seal, wineries voluntarily enter into an annually renewable, legally binding agreement with WIETA.

Conditions for compliance include total traceability of all suppliers (60% of whom must also be accredited, with the remaining 40% preparing for accreditation) and a set of strictly monitored minimum conditions including the prohibition of child labour, the right to a healthy and safe working environment, the right to reasonable working conditions, a living wage, and protection from unfair discrimination.

The following wines will feature the new WIETA ethical seal on their labels:

Fairview
Chenin Blanc 2012, Durif 2010, Nurok 2011, Shiraz 2010, Chenin Blanc 2012, Malbec 2011
Spice Route  
Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Chenin Blanc 2012, Mourvèdre 2009, Leeuwenjacht Leeuwenblanc 2012
Distell
Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Shiraz 2011
Tukulu  
Syrah unwooded 2009, Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Pinotage 2010, Chenin Blanc 2012
Durbanville Hills
Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Rhinofields Pinotage 2011,
Robertson Winery
Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Chardonnay 2012, Chenin Blanc 2012, Merlot 2012, Pinotage 2011, Shiraz 2011
Spier
Frieda’s Vine Shiraz Mouverdre 2010, Frieda’s Vine Chenin Blanc 2012

Wines of South Africa (WOSA) CEO, Su Birch, says the winemakers who have been awarded the seal deserve to be acknowledged: '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.'