South Africa produces some of the finest wines in the world and contributes up to 4% of the international wine production. Over 100.000 hectares are planted with vines for wine production and over 900 million litres are produced every year by local wineries, this equals more than 1,2 billion wine bottles.
South Africa hosts the first ever Fairtrade wine operation in the world – Thandi Wines – which achieved Fairtrade certification in 2003. Since then wine has become one of the most important Fairtrade products in South Africa: we currently have 16 Fairtrade certified wine grape producer organisations and over 39 companies involved in Fairtrade wine-making and trading (March 2012).
In 2010, over 17 million bottles of Fairtrade wine were drunk globally and two thirds of those were from South African farms. Wine contributes significantly to the growth of the South African Fairtrade movement: half of the estimated ZAR 18,4 million spent on Fairtrade products in South Africa during 2010 was generated by locally produced Fairtrade wines. South Africans will be happy to know that for every Fairtrade labelled bottle they buy, 50 cents goes back to the farm workers to use for social and economic investments. These investments are made into various projects; some of which include funding of education and training programmes for the workers and their families or the improvement of services and infrastructures.
Fairtrade certification also ensures that the wine is produced sustainably in accordance with Fairtrade Standards and that full traceability is in place.
List of Fairtrade wines available in local shops: http://bit.ly/Je2152