Edited by Paul Cook, Raul Fabella and Cassey Lee
Chapter 13: Globalization and Competition in the South African Wine Industry
Joachim Ewert and Jeﬀrey Henderson INTRODUCTION In studying the relation between global markets and agricultural industries and the consequences the processes involved have for inequality and poverty, the South African wine industry highlights many of the key issues in need of analytic and policy attention. Among these issues the questions of racial and class divisions within the industry, the implications of government competition and regulatory policies and the problems (for producer companies and workers) of being absorbed into the global value chains of oligopolistic retailers, are evident (Henderson, 2002). This chapter discusses these and cognate matters and brieﬂy indicates some of the policy conclusions that seem relevant not only for this industry and for South Africa, but perhaps also for other export-oriented agricultural and agricultural processing industries elsewhere in the developing world. THE CHALLENGE In its most recent policy papers the South African wine industry deﬁnes the major challenge as ‘creating a vibrant, united, non-racial and prosperous South African Wine Industry’ (SAWB, 2003). While it acknowledges the signiﬁcant progress made over the last decade or so, not least of which is a tenfold increase in exports, it admits that it still has a considerable way to go towards greater ‘competitiveness, sustainability and equity’. In a signiﬁcant passage the SAWB’s (2003) Wine Industry Plan (WIP) admits that while there has been some progress in poverty alleviation in South Africa, this has largely been the result of progress in urban areas. Farm workers remain one of the...
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