Fairtrade Africa together with WWF-South Africa (WWF-SA) and the South African radio network SAfm hosted a successful event on ethical food labels.
The new and innovative radio debate format was a contest rather than a panel discussion, giving the deciding vote to SAfm’s listeners. At the launch event the two teams squared-off on whether social and environmental labelling is helping or hindering efforts to reduce the negative environmental and social impacts of producing food in South Africa. All six speakers were given the opportunity for opening statements, rebuttals and closing remarks. They also had to field questions and comments from both AM Live’s listeners and the live studio audience, who were encouraged to vote for the team they felt, presented the strongest argument.
Fairtrade Africa’s Policy and Advocacy Manager, Marcela Guerrero Casas: “Listening to the questions posed by the audience and callers, ethical labelling is a real concern for South African consumers. Through third party audits, such as Fairtrade, social and environmental standards are met and continue to promote sound and credible ethical labelling in South Africa.”
Speakers for the motion included Noel Oettle of the Environmental Management Group, Tom McLaughlin of Woolworths’ sustainability programme and Jonathan Robinson, founder and owner of Bean There Coffee Company. Those against it included Professor Linus Opara of the University of Stellenbosch, David Donde, founder and owner of Truth CoffeeCult and Jonathan Cherry, founder of Cherryflava Media.
As the debate drew to a close, 74% of listeners voted in favour of the motion, providing some evidence that South African’s support the addition of ethical labels on our food products.
Download and take a listen to the DecisiveDebates audio file here: www.wwf.org.za/foodlabels