Tree-preneurs in some of the Cape’s poorest communities have been taught how to care for indigenous trees and plants. Pictures: Supplied
Tree-preneurs in some of the Cape’s poorest communities have been taught how to care for indigenous trees and plants. Pictures: Supplied

Spier wins gold at Inspirational Africa Responsible Tourism Awards

By Travel reporter Time of article published Apr 22, 2020

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Stellenbosch wine farm Spier has won Gold in the Responsible Business category at the 2020 Inspirational Africa Responsible Tourism Awards. 

The awards evaluated previous winners in the WTM Africa Responsible Tourism Awards and those for Africa who won Gold in the World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM London over the last five years to identify the best of the best.

For the Responsible Business category, the judges looked for businesses operating in Africa which have taken responsibility to make tourism better across their business.

Spier, which won Gold in the Accommodation for Responsible Employment category in the Africa Awards in 2016, was awarded Gold again at the Inspirational Africa Responsible Tourism Awards in recognition of the farm’s “transparent reporting and the breadth of their approach to improving the employment conditions of their staff”.

In particular, the judges recognised Growing for Good, a range of initiatives that the wine farm supports, empowering communities to make positive social and environmental change.

Every new employee participates in a training course to explore environmental and social challenges, encouraging them to play a positive and meaningful impact as “agents of change”.

Spier’s commitment to positively impact its staff and communities has remained steadfast during the government-imposed Covid-19 lockdown. During this time, all staff remain employed and receive full-pay. 

During this time, the farm has also committed to covering the salaries of a number of the micro-enterprises it works with, and has assisted these with obtaining Covid-19 financial assistance from other sources.

The farm has also been in the news lately for letting its 100 foreign guests stay at the hotel free of charge in exchange for donations to the Solidarity Response Fund. 

According to hotel general manager Joep Schoof, the tourists from as a far as Germany had no choice but to remain in SA after the country enforced a total lockdown, including grounding international flights.

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