Would you boycott SA wines and fruit in the UK?

Boycott South African wine in UK – insane or sensible?
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Last week unions including the Black Workers’ Agricultural Sector Union (Bawusa) put out a general call for a boycott of South African wine and fruit to put pressure on this largely export-led industry, in which around 500,000 agricultural workers work for R69 (under £5) a day.

As Cosatu threatens further Western Cape farm strikes this week, a call by some unions and charities for a British boycott of South African wines has been called ‘unfair’and ‘damaging’.

Since November, a wave of strikes has spread, with workers demanding a minimum wage of the equivalent of £10.65 a day.

Last week unions including the Black Workers’ Agricultural Sector Union (Bawusa) put out a general call for a boycott of South African wine and fruit to put pressure on this largely export-led industry, in which around 500,000 agricultural workers work for R69 (under £5) a day.

According to Workers Liberty, the strikers are also fighting the multinational retailers that have benefited massively from the poor wages in the Western Cape to maximise profits on wine and fruit.

“The government should be forcing the farmers to the table but it is not. Our only weapon left is for foreign buyers to pledge that unless conditions are addressed, they will no longer import South African products,” said Nosey Pieterse, secretary general of Bawusa.

According to the Guardian, “Unions and charities supporting the farm workers say pay and working conditions are so bad that South African wines, table grapes and granny smith apples should be as unacceptable to responsible British consumers as they were under apartheid.”

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