PROMINENT INTERNATIONAL AND SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESSES JOIN PROGRAMME TO ADDRESS FORCED LABOUR IN THE FRUIT AND WINE PRODUCING INDUSTRIES IN SOUTH AFRICA.
Recent estimates suggest that around 24.9 million people are in situations of forced labour globally[i]. However, due to the hidden nature of this type of exploitation, many business leaders and managers may not be aware of the risks of it happening in their operations or may not have the knowledge to identify and prevent it. The new international legislation, such as the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015[ii] and the French corporate duty of vigilance law[iii] are contributing to forced labour becoming a growing priority for businesses across the global supply chain.
Stronger Together supports responsible businesses to address forced labour and hidden labour exploitation as their actions and collaboration is vital to effectively tackle it. The South Africa programme was launched in November 2017, following funding from the UK Home Office Modern Slavery Innovation Fund. The businesses and industry bodies supporting the programme will help shape the initiative that provides producers with a country and sector-specific guidance to support them to deter, detect and deal with forced labour and facilitates dialogue and peer-to-peer sharing and learning across the global supply chain. The free, practical guidance includes
- 60 specialist interactive face-to-face training workshops in 6 regions the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal in 2018.[iv] Over 94% of 100+ participants to date agreed that the workshop increased their understanding of what their business can do to prevent forced labour. When asked what element of the workshop was most valuable comments from attendees have included “Exchanging ideas with other business partners and obtaining new ways of resolving and improving what you not doing right in your business” and “I have learned a lot and the workshop has opened my eyes to what’s really happening outside the office”.
- Free downloadable resources, including a best practice toolkit, template documents, checklists, guidance, information posters and leaflets for workers, and a short awareness-raising film “Eyes Wide Open”, which was recently awarded a Gold World Medal for Instruction and Education at the 2018 New York Festivals TV & Film Awards.
In addition, programme partners WIETA and SIZA are updating their good practice checklists by which their members are audited to include requirements on addressing forced labour increasing the significance of this issue for South African fruit and wine producers.
Workshops can be booked, resources freely downloaded, and more information on Stronger Together South Africa found at www.stronger2gether.org/za.
For South Africa inquiries:
Stronger Together South Africa Project Manager
+27 (0)21 – 8800 580
For international inquiries:
Stronger Together Communications Manager
+44 (0)1276 919090
[i] Stronger Together is established and equipped to support business to understand their responsibilities in the fight against modern slavery and provide them with the tools, resources, and training needed to address this in their businesses and supply chains. Stronger Together’s project sponsors in the UK include Aldi, Asda, Co-op Food, Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. For more information, visit www.stronger2gether.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
[ii] The Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trade Association (WIETA) is a multi-stakeholder initiative bringing together stakeholders to actively participate in the development of a world-class ethical trade programme for the South African wine industry. For more information, visit https://www.wieta.org.za.
[iii] SIZA enables South African Agriculture to be a global leader in sustainable, ethical trade and environmental stewardship. It is an Agri-Wide multisector stakeholder programme align to International and Local Market standards to manage risks and support continuous improvement of labour conditions on farms. For more information, visit https://siza.co.za.
[iii] https://www.business humanrights.org/sites/default/files/documents/French%20Corporate%20Duty%20of%20Vigilance%20Law%20FAQ.pdf
[iv] The workshops are led by labour rights experts from the South African fruit and wine sector. Places can be booked at https://www.stronger2gether.org/workshop/tackling-modern-slavery-in-the-fruit-and-wine-industries-south-africa/.