Fairtrade Fortnight: Meet our Fairtrade producers

The Fairtrade movement has been around for decades - but the concept of Fairtrade wine may be novel to those more used to hearing the term in association with chocolate or coffee. An increasing number of wine producers are opting to take the leap and become Fairtrade-certified, in a drive to combat unique economic, social and political challenges. 

What does 'Fairtrade' mean when it comes to wine?

Both grape farming and winemaking are labour-intensive, time-consuming industries with complex processing requirements and large supply chains. Buying Fairtrade wine helps ensure that farmers and workers are receiving a fair price - as well as an additional premium to help their community invest in essential services such as education, sanitation and health care. 

We caught up with three of our Fairtrade producers, to find out why they believe in the Fairtrade system, and what steps they took towards certification.

Stellenrust, South Africa

Tertius Boshoff 

"Our father wanted to empower our workers; the families that have worked our lands. He gave them 100ha in the early 2000's, the land which had their houses and vineyards on, as something they could call their own, as a sign of gratitude for making Stellenrust what it is today.

With a soft nudge from Bibendum, Stellenrust gained Fairtrade status in 2008. It has never been a sales gimmick for our families - our wines carry enough awards of their own, and a Fairtrade sticker shouldn't determine the purchase. It should only add value to an already good bottle of wine.

The Fairtrade logo is a sign of our commitment to our employees, ensuring socio-economic stability and environmental consciousness in our approach to viti and viniculture." 

Journey's End, South Africa

Tom Hanson-Smith

"Fairtrade does not only benefit the workers, but also their family and communities. Through Journey's End committing to becoming Fairtrade certified and maintaining the Fairtrade standard, it also shows our commitment to our workers. We believe it provides our workers with the tools to better their livelihoods, and gives them the opportunity to advance their capabilities in terms of education.

Journey's End is totally committed to maintain the Fairtrade standard to the best of our ability, in any way possible. We believe that happy and motivated workers mean excellent quality wines... and not just any type of wine. Fairtrade certified wine!" 

Argento, Argentina 

Gustavo Crepo

"We are aware that a healthy work environment is crucial for everyone's wellbeing. Our Fairtrade certification is the result of our commitment to care for and respect our partners at Bodega Argento.

For us, being Fairtrade is not the result of a short-term trend. Through efficient solutions and innovative alternatives in all the activities we carry out in the winery, we seek to produce wine of the highest quality, in a sustainable way, while always taking care of our people.

Caring for people and the environment come hand in hand. There should not be one without the other." 

Interested in more ethical winemaking?

Read more about sustainable winemaking and Fairtrade wine here.

Having spent childhood summers trekking through Italian vineyards, Elisa’s love of wine started at a young age. After a few stints working in pubs across the UK, she realised she could try far more samples working in a wine company, and landed at Bibendum two years ago. Now, she spends her days looking after digital marketing: writing, posting on social media, and everything in between.

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