A case study of Fairtrade labelling and worker empowerment on two wine and fruit farms in the Western Cape
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This thesis explores the link between Fairtrade labelling and worker empowerment in the cases of LFFT and Stellar Organics in terms of: the reasons for becoming certified and commercial benefits expected from the Fairtrade labelling; the intergration of the Faitrade requirements into the structures and management of employee equity share shemes; the enabling or disabling factors for Fairtrade certification to contribute to the socio-economic development and empowerment of the workers. This thesis describes the two cases in detail according to these links and concludes that Fairtrade labelling has not significantly changed the trade relationships with large retailers for these two Fairtrade producers even though it has provided additional market access. The link between the Fairtrade requirements and the legal and administrativestructures of employee equity share schemes is complex and open to interpretation. Finally, the possibility for Fairtrade certification to contribute to the socio-economic development and empowerment of workers is dependent on changes in management and communicationbetween white farm owners and bleck workers which confronts deeply held paternalist beliefs.