Inspections of South African Wine producers and sub suppliers of grapes

The state owned Norwegian alcohol monopoly, Vinmonopolet has just released the following press release:


Vinmonopolet will be conducting Special Inspections in the Western Cape between the 13.03.2017 and the 07.04.2017 on the supply chain for products sold in our retail and online stores.

We hope to inspect 30-40 farms and will address eight specific points related to:
  • The BSCI Code of Conduct. All workers must aware of their rights and responsibilities according to this code of conduct.
  • Freedom of Association and worker rights w.r.t joining and communicating with trade unions.
  • Access to clean drinking water whilst working.
  • Health and Safety and training, especially w.r.t. working with pesticides and personal protective equipment.
  • Grievance mechanisms and follow up on grievances.
  • Minimum wage and legality of deductions.

Our goal:

  • To address important concerns raised in the TV documentary Bitter Grapes and to contribute to improvements in the supply Chain
  • To ensure that all products sold at our stores are produced in accordance to the BSCI Code of Conduct and the South African Law.
  • To empower employers and employees with the right guidelines, if we find non compliances.

Unsure what the BSCI Code of conduct is?

This is the Code of Conduct that all importers sign when selling products to Vinmonopolet and our minimum requirement w.r.t. the products we sell.


A short guide on the BSCI Code of conduct can be found on this poster.

For more information on workers’ rights, visit the CCMA website:

Here you will find useful information on a variety of topics related to our audit.

We are in dialogue with:

  • The Nordic Importers
  • Local trade unions under the AWETUC Umbrella organisation in South Africa
  • Industry interest organisations in South Africa
  • NPOs in South Africa
  • Producers of wines and sub suppliers of wine grapes
  • Trade unions, Akademikerforbundet and FKV, in Vinmonopolet

The auditor:

Our inspections will be completed by an experienced and independent auditor with BSCI qualifications. The project coordinator will be present for most of the inspections and will act as Vinmonopolet`s ambassador. She will be reporting daily progress directly to the Vinmonopolet`s management in Norway.

The Auditor will contact all producers and farms to be inspected, a short time before the inspection.

Preparation for inspections

Vinmonopolet offers all producers and suppliers of wine grapes with information meetings.
Meeting times, dates and (eventually) locations for these meetings are to be found on

A copy of the presentation is found here.

Trade Unions and employers may also choose to have meetings for their members or employees before the inspections, so to inform about the process ahead. We recommend that a copy of the BSCI Code of Conduct (as previously mentioned) is supplied and explained to all employees in a language they understand.

Since Vinmonopolet will not be providing such meetings to employees, we have been in dialogue with trade unions and they may be contacting facilities to apply for access, so to provide similar information meetings for employees. A copy of the presentation has been sent to leadership of AWETUC members :CSAAWU, BAWUSA; SAPTU, SDTU; AFRIWU and FAWU

Our target groups to be interviewed:

  • Farm  Management and Wine Producers
  • Casual, Migrant and Permanent workers on farms and at wine producers (Male and Female, Unionised and NON unionised)

The Results

These Special Reports will be shared with the relevant producers and farms, the importer and our Nordic Partners.

Consequences of non-compliance

If minor non- compliances are found, the employer will be given a short deadline to rectify this non-compliance.

If larger non compliances are found, the following steps will be taken:

  • Step 1: The producer/farm will be placed under full BSCI audit in 2018. (Paid by Vinmonopolet)
  • Step 2: Non-compliance after full BSCI audit will lead to a remediation plan and another BSCI audit. This BSCI audit will have to be paid by the producer/sub supplier.
  • Step 3: If all matters are rectified, the producer/sub supplier will be able to recommend other exporters to see the reports on the BSCI platform. The benefits of the BSCI audit is noted here:

If major non compliances are found after all audits, Vinmonopolet will consider terminating the contract.