The South African Wine Industry: Meeting the Challenges of Structural and Ethical Transformation

David Bek, Cheryl McEwan, Tony Binns

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Since 1994, the South African wine industry has been challenged to effect a complex transformation which has involved re-engaging with international markets whilst tackling an array of social, environmental and political challenges. The multiple dimensions of this transformation are reviewed within this chapter. The first section provides a geographical and statistical overview of the industry and assesses some of the reasons for its successes in engaging with the demands of international markets. A fascinating aspect of the industry's recent biography has been the emergence of a number of initiatives with ethical dimensions that seek to address environmental and social concerns. A sample of these including Fairtrade, Wieta (the wine and agri-industry ethical trade initiative) and the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative is reviewed. The chapter concludes by considering some of the interrelationships between market and ethical imperatives alongside an overview of the ongoing challenges currently confronting the industry. These include maintaining profi tability within the highly competitive global marketplace, retaining value added within South Africa, developing globally recognised brands, gaining recognition for the quality and diversity of higher value wines, streamlining ethical codes and effecting meaningful black economic empowerment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Geography of Wine
Subtitle of host publicationRegions, Terroir and Techniques
EditorsPercy H. Dougherty
Place of PublicationDordrecht
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-9-4007-0464-0
ISBN (Print)978-9-4007-0463-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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