Spier is committed to doing business in ways that:
• Respects, values and develops people and protects them from harm
• Adheres to both international and South African workplace regulations, requirements and best practice
• Engages with — and contributes positively to — local communities
We have worked hard to ensure this commitment is shared by our team, partners and suppliers through:
• Transparency: gaining an understanding of the ethical status of the businesses in our supply chain, monitoring this status and identifying areas where improvement is needed and how we can support this
• Trust: Working with those who we’re confident are committed to this process and nurturing a relationship where they trust our intentions and input
• Collaboration: Having mutually identified areas where suppliers require support, we then offer them training and other forms of assistance on an ongoing basis to ensure there is continuous improvement of their ethical status
The kinds of support our compliance team offers suppliers varies, depending on the needs of each business. They include:
• Employee training – for example, on how to conduct committee meetings and take minutes
• Facilitating employee medical check-ups and hygiene surveys
• Providing templates of company policies (for example, on child labour, housing etc.) that can be adapted and implemented by the supplier
• Sharing of information about any relevant changes in legislation and certification
• Helping farms access a wide range of guides and other educational resources
• Free picture posters developed by Spier (in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa) to educate farmworkers about their rights as per legislation
We are serious about honouring our commitment to work only with those suppliers who share our ethical sourcing vision and who are committed to complying with the Spier Supplier Ethical Code of Conduct. Since 2017, there have been two grape growers and three cellars who we stopped buying from because — despite extensive engagement — they refused to make the changes required. If suppliers are experiencing compliance challenges, we deepen our engagement and support first; it is only once this has been exhausted that we proceed to a delisting.
In 2004, Spier became one of the first wineries in South Africa to be certified by WIETA (the Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trading Association), a non-profit representative body of producers, labour, government and NGOs. WIETA members are audited to measure compliance with the WIETA code of conduct and allocated a risk rating (we were assigned WIETA’s most favourable risk rating, “A”).
The WIETA code of conduct encompasses working conditions, health and safety, and housing and tenure of workers. Its standards and benchmarks align with South Africa’s labour and occupational health and safety legislation as well as the International Labour Organization’s conventions.
All Spier-owned farms, as well as the vast majority of farms and cellars that we source grapes and wine from, are certified by WIETA, or another ethical certification scheme (such as Fairtrade, Fair for Life and SMETA).
Following our most recent audit in 2021, Spier received the highest audit rating (A) for the amfori BSCI standard issued by amfori — a global supply chain certification specialists headquartered in Brussels.
The amfori BSCI Code of Conduct (which has also been incorporated into Spier’s own Ethical Code of Conduct) sets out 11 core labour principles, ranging from fair remuneration to no child labour. These draw upon important international labour standards protecting workers’ rights such as ILO conventions and declarations, the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as well as guidelines for multinational enterprises of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Amfori’s supply chain mapping and monitoring tools guide us to ensure compliance with this Code of Conduct throughout our supply chain.
Stronger Together’s South Africa programme supports South African agri-businesses to identify and address the risk of forced labour within their businesses and supply chains. Spier has supported the programme since its launch in 2017, which has been delivered in partnership with WIETA and the Sustainability Initiative of South Africa (SIZA). The programme’s offerings have included a pilot assessment enabling South African producers to identify manifestations of forced labour, as well as training and educational resources on modern slavery and human trafficking.