South Africa shows the world why ethics in winemaking matter

Wednesday, 12 February, 2020
Wine Enthusiast, Lauren Buzzeo
There are an array of important issues being examined around the world right now. Conversations surrounding sustainability, labor, community development, equal opportunity and equitable representation are becoming more prominent in nearly every country, culture and profession, and the wine industry is not immune.

These discourses can encourage a shared sense of cognizance and ethical duty to positive long-term effect.

While South Africa’s social policies and citizen treatment were stained by apartheid, many within the country’s wine industry have been committed to social responsibility and development of their communities.

Today, the pursuit of the greater good, especially in business, is not necessarily a given, but it’s one that rings louder and truer with each passing moment. Its effects can be real and lasting, and it can help to ensure a viable and valuable wine industry.

Ahead, we shine a light on some of the successful strategies employed within South Africa’s wine industry.

Early Social Pioneers

Prior to the end of apartheid in the early 1990s, there were almost no opportunities for professional development, advancement or economic stability for people of color in South Africa, who represented the majority of the country’s population.

The limitation resulted in an imbalanced wine industry that suffered from subpar working conditions as well as labor relations that often featured low wages, discrimination, inadequate housing and little employee support.

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