Notes from the wine fields

An interview with Alvercia Juries, the first University graduate supported by Fairtrade Premium who lives on Fransmanskraal Western cape (the farm that supplies grapes to Place in the Sun Wines)

 1.     What impact has Fairtrade made in your livelihood and community?

 Place in the Sun has made a remarkable difference to my life but also to the people around me.

place in the sun

The premiums paid foAlverciar the fruit used by the brand have contributed towards a number of educational and recreational initiatives that improve the quality of life within our community of 250 people.

Soon, I will become Fairtrade’s first university graduate. In December I will graduate with a nursing degree from the University of the Western Cape and I will be the first person from my family and community to have a tertiary qualification.

My sister Chandré Juries is now enrolled at Boland College and is studying for a diploma that will qualify her to work in a commercial environment as an assistant to management.

We would not have been able to study further after school if we didn’t receive the Fairtrade premiums. There is another member of our community, Cameron Goeieman, who is also studying at Boland College.

We are not the only ones currently benefitting. The premium committee that decides on how the money should be spent has also directed funds towards upgrading the two creches serving the community.  Money has been used to give school-going kids the opportunity to attend schools in the area rather than go to farm schools. The premiums also pay for sports training a

nd make it possible for our sports teams to participate in local matches, paying for equipment, transport, among other things.  We also have recreational facilities that everyone can enjoy.  And a programme has been initiated to improve nutrition.  So far we have established two vegetable gardens.

 2.    What is the one outstanding thing you can say about Fairtrade?

 Fairtrade provides trade rather than aid and accelerates community upliftment. The premiums are not a hand-out. They are generated from business transactions.  I think it is important to buy Fairtrade products, because when you do, you are helping communities help themselves.

 3.    2015 marked the 10th anniversary of Fairtrade Africa. Please share with us some of your expectations for the next 10 years?

 I hope to see growth in the number of Fairtrade products available to shoppers, so they have even greater choice in their support of Fairtrade initiatives. By encouraging more socially and environmentally-friendly production and purchasing, we can live in a better world.

I also hope there will be more Fairtrade-accredited chocolate on the market. I love chocolate!