Businesses join initiative to address forced labour in fruit & wine producing countries in south Africa

Author: Stronger Together (UK), Published on: 15 May 2018

"Prominent businesses join programme to address forced labour in the fruit and wine producing countries in South Africa"

...Stronger Together, in partnership with the Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trade Association (WIETA) and the Sustainability Initiative of South Africa (SIZA) is pleased to announce that Backberg Estate, BerryWorld, Ceres Cascade Farms, Co-op Food, Global Fruit Point Germany, Greenyard Fresh, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, South African Liquor Brands Association (SALBA), Spier, Tesco, Vinmonopolet, and Waitrose have joined Stronger Together South Africa. Many more South African businesses are supporting and engaging in the programme. This collaborative business-led programme works across global supply chains to support producers in the South African fruit and wine industries to tackle forced labour and labour exploitation – all businesses in this supply chain nationally and internationally are welcome and encouraged to get involved.

Recent estimates suggest that around 24.9 million people are in situations of forced labour globally. 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. New international legislation, such as the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the French corporate duty of vigilance law 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 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. 

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Related companies: Marks & Spencer Tesco Waitrose (part of John Lewis Partnership)