Guest Post Written By:
Kyle Freund, Digital Content Manager at Fairtrade America
a toast to the workers behind your wine
The Fairtrade label can be found on more than 35,000 products around the world. Most everyone is familiar with Fairtrade coffee and chocolate – two products that launched the movement – but did you know that your wine can be Fairtrade too?
First time hearing about Fairtrade wine? Well, pour yourself a glass of red and learn a bit more about what makes Fairtrade wine so special.
what’s fair about fairtrade?
Fairtrade is a partnership between farmers and workers, companies and consumers to share the benefits of trade more equally. The Fairtrade Standards set out better terms of trade, mandate decent wages and working conditions, and support marginalized farmers and workers in 75 countries.
When you see the Fairtrade label on a bottle of wine, it means that the entire supply chain has met the rigorous Fairtrade Standards, from the workers on the estate to the brand marketing the finished product.
Fairtrade first began certifying wine in 2003. There are now more than 40 Fairtrade certified wine producers, with the largest producers in South Africa, Chile, and Argentina.
fairtrade and vineyard workers
Wine grape farming and production is hard, labor-intensive work. Among workers on estates, there can be long hours, difficult conditions and low wages. The Fairtrade Standards aim to protect workers’ rights and help companies improve their business by having happier and more engaged employees.
Fairtrade also has rigorous health and safety standards to protect workers’ well-being, as well as that of nearby communities and ecosystems. For example, Fairtrade bans the use of some highly toxic agro-chemicals that are often used in vineyards and prescribes rules for the safe application of less toxic ones.
the premium difference
In addition to the benefits listed above, workers on certified estates receive the Fairtrade Premium, an additional amount of money for sales of certified products. This is placed in a communal fund and, each year, the workers determine how to invest it. Fairtrade believes that farmers and workers are best placed to know the priorities for improving their communities.
On vineyards, a Premium Committee consisting of elected workers administers the Premium, and a General Assembly consisting of all workers decides how the funds should be used. Workers on wine estates often invest their Premium in health care, support for families, further education for workers, or schooling facilities.
When you open a bottle of Fairtrade wine, you’re not only enjoying a quality product, but you’re making a positive impact for workers around the world. Learn more about Fairtrade at www.fairtradeamerica.org.
New Dawn proudly carries the Stonedance line of Fairtrade labeled wines. Learn more about Stonedance wines here.