Biased documentary condemned

by | Oct 28, 2016 | News

hande_druiweA documentary titled “Bitter grapes – Slavery in the vineyards” by the Danish investigative journalist, Tom Heinemann, recently aired on Swedish television. This documentary puts several South African wineries, as well as the wine industry at large, in a very bad light in terms of farm worker conditions.

VinPro fully acknowledges the challenges the wine industry faces in terms of social upliftment, farmworker upskilling and development, as well as transformation and land reform. Significant strides have been made in terms of improving the plight of farm workers, with substantial investment and effort from both collaborative industry groupings, government and particularly, individual wineries and grape producers.

VinPro would like to express its concern in terms of the one-sided and biased approach that Heinemann employed, as well as the potential detrimental effect that the documentary could have on the South African wine industry at large. The legitimacy of several aspects of the documentary have also already been questioned, both locally and in Scandinavia.

VinPro, in collaboration with industry bodies, labour and government, remains committed to sustainable development and will continue to engage with involved stakeholders, including the ethical trade organisation, Wieta and the Swedish liquor authority, Systembolaget.

View WIETA’s response here –

ENQUIRIES: VinPro Wine Cellars Manager, Christo Conradie at tel 082 497 4987 or email

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