Fair trade accreditation for Stellar Winery

Tuesday, 17 August, 2004
Errieda du Toit PR
A world first for an organic winery.

Stellar Winery in Namaqualand is the first organic winery in the world to be awarded the coveted international Fair Trade accreditation.

Fair Trade certification commits businesses to principles and practices designed to foster a just and sustainable market. Fair Trade companies undertake to empower economically disadvantaged workers and artisans, and respect the environment.

Stellar Winery, the largest organic winery in South Africa, is situated in the town of Trawal, Namaqualand, 275 km north of Cape Town. The winery makes use of a semi-arid climate, unrivalled refrigeration capacity and extensive in-house engineering skills to produce modern organic wines.

According to Willem Rossouw, Stellar Winery operations director, Fair Trade certification confirms the fair labour practices and social and economic upliftment which have been an integral part of the Stellar ethic from the outset. 'We believe that fulfilling our vision to bring organic wine of boutique wine quality to the local and global market - farmed and produced according to strict organic guidelines - starts at home with our work force."

A Fair Trade committee has been set up, chaired by Marie Malan, Stellar Winery farm manager. "Under the Fair Trade system, as we start selling the Fair Trade wine the money will be channelled into projects that our committee pinpoints as priorities," says Malan.

"The Fair Trade agreement also empowers farm workers to buy shares in the company." In practical terms the Fair Trade organisation gets 20 Euro cents per kg of grapes, of which 5 Euro cents go directly to the workers.

Principles of Fair Trade certification:

Fair Wages
Producers are paid fairly for their products; workers are paid at least the minimum wage, and if that's not enough, they must be given a living wage, which enables them to cover basic needs, including food, shelter, education and health care for their families.

Consumer Education
Companies educate consumers about the importance of purchasing fairly traded products which support living wages and healthy working conditions.

Environmental Sustainability

Fair Trade Organizations encourage producers to engage in environmentally friendly practices which manage and utilize local resources sustainably.

Financial and Technical Support
Fair Trade organisations will, where necessary, provide financial assistance to small producers unable to access finance through conventional methods - banks are often loath to lend money to small farmers or crafters, for instance.

Respect for Cultural Identity
Fair Trade companies actively encourage local culture.

Stellar Winery contact details:

Willem Rossouw - Operations
Cell: - +27 82 804 1900
E-mail: -

Dudley Wilson - Winemaker
Cell: - +27 82 786 6336
E-mail: - dudley@stellarorganics.com

Lee Griffin - Brand & Marketing
Cell: - +27 82 900 8989
E-mail: - lee@stellarorganics.com


Fair Trade Websites: