There has been much commentary on the documentary “Bitter Grapes” broadcast in Denmark and Sweden on 19 and 20  October 2016.

Wines of South Africa has made the following statement in response:

"The South African wine industry has come a long way in recent years to work together in order to improve the sustainability of one of its biggest assets - the workers. Whilst we recognize that there is still a lot of work to be done, there are numerous programmes that include social upliftment, housing, land reform, education, skills and medical care for farm workers and their families. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of bodies such as WIETA and Fairtrade, there are regular audits across the board that support and encourage positive change.  However these changes simply cannot happen overnight. It will take time.  The reality is that change is taking place, despite many wine farmers running their businesses on very tight margins.

What is needed now is more support of the industry, instead of boycotting it. Each litre of wine sold at the right price point contributes to the successful growth of the industry, which directly translates into a flourishing industry where all stakeholders, including our workers, are supported. Increased sales of higher priced wines bottled in South Africa will generate better profit margins and have a direct influence in the wellbeing of these farming communities and should be encouraged across the board."

All relating statements and information issued by the South African Wine Industry, Local Government and Ethical Bodies can be accessed as follows: