Better Work, Better Businesses: Making the Case for Ethical Trade in the South African Fruit Industry


Coventry University Research Pump Prime Scheme

£6,945

This project will seek to: advance understandings of how labour standards improvements are connected to improvements in business performance.

More specifically, the project will develop tools for measuring fruit farm business performance and for assessing the extent to which good labour practices are embedded within the farm business. These tools will be developed with, and applied to, a sample of farms in the Western Cape.

The project will focus on fruit farms in South Africa, which are implementing worker and management training with the goal of enhancing compliance with ethical trade standards. The ongoing rollout of ethical trade in South Africa would benefit from an evidence base which clearly demonstrates how ethical compliance contributes to a positive working environment which in turn enhances business performance. The project has the potential to be a ‘game changer’ for the ethical trade movement in South Africa in terms of making a strong business case for ethical trade and providing insights which will enable the enhanced delivery of ethical trade programmes. Furthermore, knowledge from this research can be transferred to other countries and industries thus promoting ethical trade across the world.

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