Despite governments efforts to implement social improvements, poverty and inequality are still among the major scourges of Argentine society. At Chakana, we are convinced that we have an obligation to fight these problems with a strong commitment to our community and to guarantee fair trade practices and good working conditions to workers and growers.
The latest measurements indicate that approximately 32% of the Argentinian population lives in poverty, which indicates that there have been no substantial improvements of this index in the last 15 years. Considering that the unemployment rate is relatively low thanks to social assistance plans, it is possible to link poverty and inequity to the existence of a high proportion of informal employment.
Informal economy and its consequences
In the province of Mendoza, by far the biggest wine producing area in Argentina, informal employment affects approximately 37% of workers (according to the National Institute of Statistics and Census). This has a deep impact on rural communities, due to the characteristics of the sector, such as the existence of small enterprises with narrow profit margins, which has been aggravated by the crisis of profitability that affected the wine sector in the past few years.
In addition to that, the existence of a large number of primary growers (in Argentina there are approximately 26000 producers with an average size of 8,8 ha and 40% below 5 ha) and a relative concentration of the winemaking facilities (Bodegas de Argentina, the wineries chamber of commerce in the country, groups about 220 producers) generate a strong disparity between the relative forces of supply and demand, affecting growers conditions.
Informal employment is a major threat to the protection of workers’ rights. In these working conditions, it’s not guaranteed the validity of collective agreements that ensure minimum wages. Workers can’t object employment conditions and they’re also deprived of their social benefits (health and retirement). Moreover, it’s impossible to establish practices that ensure equal treatment and opportunities and prevent child labor.
Why Fair for Life
Fair trade practices prevent informal employment allowing the benefits of a fair wage and working conditions to reach all workers and benefit the entire community.
At Chakana, our commitment to our employees has been a fundamental part of our business vision since our foundation in 2002, maintaining a strict focus on fulfilling all labor obligations, always avoiding to hiring informal workers and demanding from our suppliers the same policy.
We have also made efforts to ensure that our facilities and housing offered to people who manages the vineyards maintain good standards of hygiene and comfort.
In Chakana we understand that our mission is to offer high quality products to our customers, respecting environment and social conditions: we want to be an agent of positive change for our community.
For this reason, since 2012 we have embraced organic farming practices in all our farms obtaining the corresponding certification from the 2014 harvest. In the same way, we believe that we must guarantee to our clients a responsible relationships with our working team. That’s why we are pleased to inform you that we have certified Fair for Life’s social responsibility and fair trade program.
Fair for Life promotes a fair trade approach that allows producers and workers who are economically disadvantaged to access a wider range of social and economic benefits.
Fair trade is part of a broader context of sustainable development that protects and promotes local communities, especially in rural areas. These principles apply throughout the production chain, covering growers, workers, sales team and brand managers.
We invite you to read and rate our ratings on the official Fair for Life website