In an effort to ensure farmworkers’ rights, safer working conditions and fairer pay, Fairtrade Africa in collaboration with Fairtrade Finland, have launched the Dignified Opportunities Nurtured through Trade & Sustainability (Donuts) programme.
The programme, launched at the recently hosted Donuts Wine Round-table Summit, aims to ensure the dignity of all farmworkers and farm dwellers. Furthermore, it also seeks to not only ensure that farmers and workers live in harmony with the environment and the climate, but that farmers’ and workers’ economic rights are realised.
Speaking at the summit, Zinhle Dlamini, head of the region for Fairtrade Africa, Southern Africa network, explained that the summit focused on especially the national minimum wage versus the living wage.
“Living wage discussions are sensitive and dynamic conversations on farms, there are many factors to it,” she said.
“A producer will tell you he or she has production costs. But also it’s becoming more and more complex because after producing the farmer is also selling, and how much are they getting at the end of the day?”
Secure, sustainable livelihoods for farmworkers
The Donuts programme is funded by Fairtrade Finland which secured 7.1 million euros from the ministry for foreign affairs of Finland (MFA Finland) for a development cooperation programme between 2022–2025.
The human-rights-based programme has been planned together with Fairtrade Africa, the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Fairtrade Small Producers and Workers (CLAC), and several European Fairtrade organisations (NFOs).
“It is all about adding value at the end of the day.”Mario Williams, accreditation officer at Koopmanskloof Wines.
Organisers said the programme complemented the Fairtrade certification in areas where certification alone is not enough to reach Fairtrade’s vision of a world in which all agricultural workers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods, fulfil their potential and decide on their future.
This also includes climate change, child labour and forced labour, deforestation, unfair trading practices, degradation of biodiversity, and discrimination against persons with disabilities, youth and genders.
Doing the right thing
Koopmanskloof Wines are Fairtrade certified and a participator in the Donuts programme. Mario Williams, accreditation officer at Koopmanskloof said doing the right thing must be part of every wine farm’s DNA. For them, it is about changing the lives of people, he said.
“15 years ago [when] we wrote down the philosophy of the company, we said that at the same measure, value is added to the environment. So value must also be added to the lives of the people who are adding value to the [farm] and our products.”
Williams said, “I feel like our philosophy summarises the Donuts project because it is all about adding value at the end of the day.”
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