Fairtrade Label South Africa celebrated their first ambassador this week, award-winning musician Loyiso Bala.
Joining the rest of the mingling media, Urban Sprout sipped delicious Fairtrade wine under the cool trees of Oude Libertas farm estate. Speeches commenced after the old slave bell was rung: the sound of irony.
‘I plan to not just be a face, but to really get involved hands-on, so that hopefully this same time next year I can tell you about all the amazing Fairtrade projects I have been involved in,’ commented Loyiso jovially during his speech last Tuesday.
Having spent the day at Fransmanskraal farm – supplier of Fairtrade wine grapes to Distell’s ‘Place in the Sun’ wines – Loyiso was able to come to terms with the true meaning of the word ‘Fairtrade’ – and clearly liked what he saw.
Protecting labor rights worldwide
Although the South Africa branch is still establishing itself, Fairtrade Label as an international certifying body have been working for many years to protect the rights of labourers in developing countries worldwide.
With products like coffees and spices bearing the Fairtrade certification label available locally from places like Woolworths, Fairtrade South Africa have plans to expand the number of goods bearing their brand. And getting musician Loyiso Bala on-board as their first ambassador is another step towards growing their presence locally.
Dressed in the new Puma Fairtrade clothing range, Loyiso looked beaming and at ease as he was handed the same certificate that belongs to the likes of Emma Watson and Bob Geldof – both international ambassadors for the Fairtrade Label.
Having trained at the prestigious Drakensburg Boys Choir, Loyiso enjoyed some success in kwaito group TKZee before heading into his own solo career as an R&B singer. Having won various awards such as SAMAs and 3 Metro FM Awards, Loyiso has also received much media attention – for example GQ’s Most Stylish Male in the country and Men’s Health Best Man for Arts & Culture award – which makes him the perfect candidate for Fairtrade exposure.
Loyiso claims that he is happy to be a part of a brand that feels meaningful and important to him and looks forward to his future with Fairtrade SA. This global movement represents sustainability and development through an alternative approach to conventional trade. The idea is to improve production and trading conditions to benefit smallholders, farm workers and disadvantaged employees and artisans.