Wine and Agricultural Industry Ethical Trade Association (WIETA)

AnchorBackground to the establishment of WIETA

WIETA was formally established in November 2002. The association arose out of an Ethical Trade Initiative pilot project in the wine industry. The pilot not only assisted the ETI and South African partners in learning about, developing and refining inspection methodologies in monitoring their base code, but was instrumental in bringing together stakeholders in the wine industry of the Western Cape to discuss and debate issues around ethical trade. The experiment has had considerable success in the wine industry and this led to the members taking a decision in October 2005 to extend the work of WIETA wider to agriculture as a whole, while continuing to serve the needs of the wine industry.

Anchor What is WIETA?

WIETA is a not for profit, voluntary association of many different stakeholders in the South African wine and agriculture industry, who are committed to the promotion of ethical trade in this sector. In addition, WIETA is a multi-stakeholder, representing both the interests of trade unions, civil society groupings, wine brands and their producers. This places WIETA in a unique position to actively promote fair working conditions within the wine industry and to provide a platform for dialogue around ethical trade.

Mission Statement

WIETA’s vision is to promote fair treatment, respectful relationships and dignified lives toward achieving a transformed agricultural sector.

WIETA’s mission  is to develop and implement a pro-active world class and sustainable ethical trade programme for the South African wine industry and aligned sectors by:

  • Setting a social standard and providing ethical assurance.
  • Creating the platform for ethical advocacy and social dialogue. 
  • Providing services to improve decent work and support sustainable ethical trade. 
  • Developing and delivering innovative programmes for ethical transformation.
  • Promoting wellbeing through responsible production, distribution and consumption.
  • Ensuring an effective and efficient organisation.

What is contained in the WIETA code?

The code contains information pertaining to:

  • Ethical and socially responsible management systems.
  • Prohibition on child labour and the employment of young workers.
  • Prohibition on forced, bonded, prison or indentured labour. 
  • A safe and healthy work environment.
  • Unfair discrimination against workers.
  • Fair treatment, working conditions and disciplinary measures for workers.
  • Fair wages
  • Housing and tenure security.
  • Striving towards social responsibility and community development as best practise.
  • Freedom of association and the right to bargain collectively.

Anchor Who may join WIETA?

Any individual or body that is committed to the objectives of the organisation, including growers; producers; agents, trade unions; non-governmental organisations; retailers, and government.

Anchor How is this body managed?

A Board, comprising labour, business, non-governmental organisation and government representatives, manages the body. Representatives from these constituencies are elected onto the Board at the Annual General Meeting. A Chief Executive Officer, who reports to the Board, is responsible for the day-to-day management of the association.

Anchor What is required of members?

Members of the association have different responsibilities and make different contributions in meeting the aims and objectives of the association. All members who join the association agree to abide by the constitution and to support the objectives of the organisation. In addition to this:

  • Board members are requested to contribute their expertise and time in the development of the code and in taking important decisions about how the association will best meet its objectives.
  • Producer members are required to implement the base code at their workplaces, and to allow the association to monitor compliance.
  • Trade union members play an important role in creating awareness of the provisions of the code among their members.
  • Non-governmental organisations provide a valuable resource to the association in terms of their expertise, training capacity and research capabilities.
  • Government is an important service provider in the sector, and their participation in the association provides an important opportunity for WIETA to identify ways of working together in ensuring more effective service delivery affecting compliance with the code in under resourced rural areas.

Anchor How will WIETA monitor member' compliance with the code?

Independent social auditors, who have a good understanding of the sector and are familiar with labour and tenure security legislation, will be selected and trained by WIETA to monitor compliance with the code.

Members who comply with the base code will become accredited members of the association. Those that do not comply will be required to develop an improvement plan, setting out the steps that will be taken towards compliance within reasonable time frames agreed with the association. Follow up audits will be conducted to ascertain the extent to which these measures have been implemented.

Anchor What services will WIETA provide?

  • Educating members (new and current) and workers on the code, standard and the social auditing process.
  • Sharing up to date information on best practice in implementing the code.
  • Monitoring producer and grower member' compliance with the code.
  • Assisting retailers to monitor their suppliers.
  • Offering risk and remedy consulting.
  • Offering ethical support programmes pertaining to wellness, ethical leadership and communication & relationships.
  • Offering webinars focusing on Occupational health & safety, hazard identification & risk assessment and ESTA.

AnchorThe WIETA Seal

The Fair Labour Certification seal testifies to best practice working conditions, based on rigorous and closely monitored qualification criteria. This is believed to be a world first among wine-producing countries. This seal is a parallel effort to Fair Trade or Fair for Life, which are also recognised as ethical certifications. WIETA audit companies to monitor the WIETA Standard.

Visit the WIETA website at

AnchorContact us

Office Address   
Unit 9 Cotillion Place
Techno Drive

Linda Lipparoni
Tel: +27 (0)21 880 0580
Cell: +27 (0)82 864 1816
Fax: +27 (0)21 880 0576
Email: or