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We love our land, and are committed to the preservation of the local environment. With the support of Cape Nature, we continually remove harmful alien vegetation present on the farm. Since 2010, we have proudly carried the Integrity & Sustainability seal that certifies our farming production is done in an environmentally friendly way, and we are members of the Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) and Biodiversity in Wine (BWI) initiatives. Our cheese factory was also proudly recognized by The Carbon Protocol of South Africa as the first Carbon Neutral Cheesery on the African continent.
Sustainable Wine South Africa (SWSA) is the alliance between the Wine and Spirit Board (WSB), the Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) scheme, the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI) and Wines of South Africa (WOSA).
Together these organisations are driving the South African wine industry’s commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly production.
The WIETA (Wine and Africultural Industry Ethical Trade Association) seal confirms that fair labour practices are being employed by producers of the product in question. Believed to be a first among wine producing countries, the seal is based on rigorous auditing in line with the authority’s code of conduct. All Fairview wines and farms are WIETA accredited.
The Fair Valley Farm Workers Association founded in 1997, was set up by 36 families who are employees of Fairview Wine and Cheese Estate in order to develop and manage their own property. 1998 saw the first vintage of Fairvalley wine, which was produced using all the facilities of Fairview cellar. Launched as a socio-economic empowerment venture, today Fairvalley relies on the available skills amongst workers who all have long years of experience in grape cultivation, wine production and packaging.
Fairview’s commitment to being a Biodiversity in Wine (BWI) member includes not planting or removing any vineyards where natural fynbos exists, maintaining a management agreement with Cape Nature Conservation (who oversees the fynbos areas), conserving the water resources on the farm and ensuring safe and sustainable practices in the cellar.
From the outset, Charles Back has put social accountability at the forefront of the Fairview ethos. Owning upwards of 95% of the farms that supply the grapes for winemaking has allowed Fairview to control its own labour, farming and production processes – ensuring a history of fairness and empowerment for the farm workers and their families. Fairview’s Fairtrade accreditation allows the brand to continue to build upon this vision, bringing further benefit and upliftment to the community.
The Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) membership is in place to ensure that grape and wine producers are responsible for their immediate natural environments. South Africa is the only country in the world to have such an initiative on a national level. An extensive set of vineyard and cellar standards is regularly monitored by way of internal and independent auditing. The IPW is not a system of enforcement, but rather a commitment from individual producers to take responsibility for their practices.
Since 2008, Fairview’s alien vegetation removal efforts have since grown from strength to strength, and now also include the removal of major environmental concerns such as Blue Gum, Port Jackson and Black Wattle across the neighbouring farms and surrounds. The wood of the alien trees is used for firewood in the Fairview farm workers’ homes, as well as for mulching on the vine rows. The labour necessary to chip this wood is yet another job creation opportunity made possible by the project.
Fairview was recognized by The Carbon Protocol of South Africa as the first Carbon Neutral Cheesery on the African continent. Acknowledging the negative environmental effects of man-made climate change and the fact that 75% of global green house gas (GHG) emissions are generated by business, the Fairview Cheesery began its quest to achieve carbon neutral status in September 2009.