The Drinks Business Green Awards 2013: Stellar Winery is Ethical Company of the Year

26 April 2013

Stellar Winery was named Ethical Company of the year at the Drinks Business Green Awards 2013. The Drinks Business Green Awards is the world’s largest programme to raise awareness of green issues in the drinks trade and recognise and reward those who are leading the way in sustainability and environmental performance.

The judges voted Stellar Winery Ethical Company of the Year, a huge endorsement of the effort the company has invested in its employees, producers, farmworkers and surrounding communities. Initiatives large and small in the areas of training and education, sport and recreation, improved nutrition, primary health care and worker transport have slowly but surely made an impact on the Stellar Winery Multi-Estate and beyond.

The Stellar Foundation, a non-profit organisation established in 2011, manages projects aimed at community development. Apart from the initiatives at Stellar Multi-Estate, the Stellar Foundation initiated and still supports a holiday feeding and activity scheme for children in the nearby town of Klawer. A second project, in partnership with the Klawer community and the Department of Agriculture to establish residential vegetable gardens, is well on its way.

Ehrmanns has played its role in the ensuring the outcome of these initiatives, having worked with Stellar Winery since 2005, and has helped grow the business into one of the leading organic and sulphur free wine brands in the UK. Joy Edmondson, Buying and Marketing Director says "We’ve worked with Stellar for 8 years now, and have watched them grow from being made up of just 4 farms to become a 13 farm multi-estate. The impact of their work is very visible and touches so many communities and we are hugely proud to have played a part in that.”

Irene Dell, Stellar’s Social Development Officer and hands-on manager at the Foundation says “the support that the Stellar Foundation has received from customers and sponsors has been our lifeline, and this award is a wonderful acknowledgement of the progress we’ve made so far. It tells us that we’re on the right path and motivates us to reach even higher.”

Community buy-in is also essential. Farmers and farmworkers on the Multi-Estate and volunteers in Klawer have shown their determination when it comes to taking the initiative and running with it. The vegetable gardens on Madiwodo and Bet-El farms and the Klawer feeding scheme are great examples of communities taking ownership of projects.

Stellar Winery is a certified organic wine producer in the Olifants River Wine Region. The Stellar Winery Multi-Estate, comprising the winery and independent grape producers, is certified for Fair Trade and Social Responsibility by the IMO/Swiss Bio Fair for Life programme. The Multi-Estate workers own 26% of the company.

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