March 3 - 17, 2018
Field School: The wine value chain in the Stellenbosch-Paarl region
During the field school 28 semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with actors along the wine value chain in the Stellenbosch-Paarl region. The interviewees included mostly the managing directors, sales and marketing managers or owners of different types of wineries and vineyards, input-suppliers, retailers, as well as researchers and experts in oenology and viticulture. The challenges in the South African wine industry are manning fold, reaching from high competition and low profitability to social problems e.g. housing, wages and working conditions on the farms.
After two intensive weeks of researching the wine industry in the Stellenbosch region, the students share their first preliminary results with colleagues and students from the University of Stellenbosch. The students presented the results along three topics. Namely, the territorial embeddedness of the wine industry in order to analyze the supply chains from the grape producers to the wine makers, the distribution channels and relations to exporters and retail chains, and the role of non-governmental organizations trying to improve the working conditions. The presentations were well received and the students got fruitful comments for their further analyses and reports.