Original Research

Do wine tourists care about the labourer?

Andrea Saayman, Melville Saayman
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 22, No 1 | a2477 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v22i1.2477 | © 2019 Andrea Saayman, Melville Saayman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 May 2018 | Published: 27 March 2019

About the author(s)

Andrea Saayman, School of Economics, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Melville Saayman, Tourism Research in Economics, Environs and Society (TREES), Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Consumers worldwide have recently become more aware that their consumption preferences and habits influence not only the environment, but also other people’s lives. These ‘ethical’ consumers are therefore said to consider the moral features of the product or service in their consumption decision. The most prominent ethical consumption label is the Fair Trade label, which was established to enhance the living and working conditions of those working on small-scale farm cooperatives in developing countries.

Aim: This paper aims to determine wine tourists’ willingness to pay (WTP) for improved working and living conditions for wine farm workers.

Setting: The research was conducted at the largest wine festival in South Africa, the Wacky Wine Festival in Robertson in the Western Cape, an area renowned for its wine and fruit products.

Method: The concept of a socially acceptable logo on the wine bottle – signalling fair wages to the farm workers – was assessed by using a double-bounded contingent valuation approach. Wine tourists completed 397 questionnaires during the festival in June 2017.

Results: The results indicate that 80% of wine tourists are willing to pay more for socially responsible wines. The responsible wine consumer is typically younger and a premium of R11 per bottle of wine would be accepted if it signals fair treatment of workers.

Conclusion: The socially responsible wine tourist in South Africa is more concerned about quality and the moral implications of the wine than the price. There is support for the implementation of a socially responsible label for wine products.


Keywords

wine tourism; ethical consumption; contingent valuation; Wacky Wine Festival

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