SA fruit industry launches ethical trade program

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SA fruit industry launches ethical trade program

South African producers and exporters have signed up for an ethical trade program to improve the conditions of fruit farm laborers.

Fruit South Africa chairman Derek Donkin, said his organization was excited to be supporting the initiative.

“This is about role-players in the South African fruit industry proactively developing and implementing policies and practices that will assist in the continuous improvement in the well being of labour on South African fruit farms,” he said.

Donkin explaine the program was based on the country's progressive labor legislation and uses international best practices in audit methodology and independent third-party auditors.

"This programme has a strong development emphasis, for example the creation of training material and toolkits to increase awareness and improvement in labour practices,” he added.

Retailers gave the thumbs up to the program's standard code which they described as relevant, understandable to growers and workers and meeting high international labor standards.

Other organizations involved included trade bodies, labor representatives, government and international retailers.

The Ethical Trade Program is benchmarked against the Global Social Compliance Program. It is hoped its standards and tools will be adopted by other agricultural sectors.

Fruit South Africa represents growers and exporters that ship fruit from southern Africa, valued at ZAR20 billion (US$2.5 billion) annually and employing over 200,000 workers.


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