In today’s world, decisions we make often have global implications. Most of us are becoming more concerned with the social and environmental impact of our decisions. Whether it’s choosing a green detergent or a fair trade coffee, we are looking for solutions that help us improve our social consciousness and green living choices. Are you aware that your choice of wine might greatly benefit and improve the lives of many foreign workers?
I recently read an interesting post from green LA girl on Organic Fair Trade Wines that she bought at Whole Foods. She picked out a couple of bottles from South African Wine maker Stellar Organics. The post stated,
…a number of different South African wines by Stellar Organics — all fair trade and organic certified (no sulfites added)…
…Curious about what makes these wines fair trade? Basically, Stellar Organics’ workers receive competitive wages, have part ownership of the company (at least 25%, according to TransFair USA, which provides fair trade certification for products in the U.S.) with a say in making larger community decisions…
According Fair Trade Certified, The United States is the second-largest wine market in the world by volume. In 2007 imported wine accounted for 31 percent of total U.S. sales making the U.S market the very attractive to international wine producers. Their website indicates,
…The most significant growth in US wine sales in recent years has been in varietals of wines from “New World” countries, including Chile, Argentina, and South Africa. However in many of these regions, it is difficult to meet the market demand for high quality wine while ensuring that grape growing communities have access to safe and fair working conditions, receive adequate pay and prices for their wine grapes, and guarantee that costs of living are covered. Fair Trade CertifiedÔ guarantees producers a set minimum price for their grapes, workers a living wage and wine producing communities funding for community development programs…
Fair Trade wines are increasingly more popular and available. A recent Google search indicated that in addition to specialty stores, retailers such as Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club are stocking Fair Trade wines.
There are approximately thirty or so wineries that have received Fair Trade certification. Although the number of certified producers is low, as demand increases the number is sure to grow.
Of course a choice of wine is a matter of taste and many of us often reach for our long standing favorite when selecting a wine. The next time you’re strolling down the wine isle keep a look out for a Fair Trade wine. You might find a hidden gem you’ll like and may be helping to improve the life of your neighbor a world away.
For more eco-friendly beverage ideas, check out this post on Green Beer.