Wine farmworkers, provenance stories and ethical value claims

SMITH MAGUIRE, Jennifer, BRIDGEMAN, Nikita-Marie, MARCO-THYSE, Sharron and ERASMUS, Charles (2022). Wine farmworkers, provenance stories and ethical value claims. Journal of Wine Research, 33 (4), 214-234.

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The article extends past research on ethical value claims in two ways. First, research often centres on certifications as mechanisms of ethical claims-making; in contrast, we focus on provenance stories as devices of wine brand differentiation and ethical value creation. Second, while value claims are broadly understood as co-creative outcomes involving producers, intermediaries, and consumers, we focus on manual farmworkers, who are largely absent, as story subjects and storytellers, in agri-food provenance stories and value claims. Focusing on the South African wine industry, we sought to identify alignments between winery brand stories and farmworker heritage stories as a potential route for farmworkers to contribute to and be more securely included and recognized within premium wine value chains. Analysis of a comparative sample of South African, French, Italian and Australian winery websites identified provenance as the dominant frame for ethical value claims, family as a primary anchor for provenance, and South Africa’s distinctive prevalence of representations of farmworkers in winery communications. Two ‘storytelling workshops’ with Cape Wineland farmworkers generated resonant themes – community and familiness; expertise and pride – that aligned with dominant market expectations and credence cues, and could potentially serve as credible, authentic anchors for South African wine value claims.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0706 Horticultural Production; 1505 Marketing; Marketing
Identification Number:
Page Range: 214-234
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2022 10:01
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 08:47

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