Spier received silver at the African Responsible Tourism Awards 2018, in the category of decent work and inclusion, at World Travel Market Africa in Cape Town recently.
Companies making up the strong long list were scrutinised by judges on the lookout for a meaningful engagement with economically poor, socially excluded and marginalised local people, through employment opportunities and community interventions.
The nominees were expected to go above and beyond the legal requirements in relation to wages, working conditions and skills development, and be working with local producers to facilitate and grow their participation in the supply chain.
The award recognised that Spier’s entry-level wages far exceed the industry-regulated minimum wages and it also has a comprehensive array of initiatives to tackle youth employment and enhance the wellbeing, skills and development of their staff.
By December 2017, 82% of Spier staff were living within a 30km radius of the farm, while more than 50% of entry level positions have been filled by first-time work entrants or vulnerable adults.
Spier’s impact in the wider community is visible through its support of Tree-preneurs, a project which has seen more than 190 people from some of the Cape’s poorest communities taught how to care for indigenous plants.
They are given seedlings to nurture; once these have reached 30cm, they can be exchanged for livelihood support items such as food vouchers, clothing, tools and bicycles.
Western Cape Tree-preneurs have grown 50 000 indigenous trees since the project began in the province.
The 2018 African Responsible Tourism Awards also awarded silver to Spier for best for global goals reporting. This is a new category which measures all entries against identified goals.
“We are delighted that our efforts to tackle local youth unemployment and nurture our staff’s wellbeing and potential has been recognised with these awards,” Spier chief executive officer, Andrew Milne, said.