ESRC Knowledge Exchange

Delivering Sustainability for Ethical Markets in the Western Cape

1.00pm, Thursday March 27th at WWF, Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa

This workshop stemmed from a collaborative project between the UK Universities of Newcastle and Durham and the Flower Valley Conservation Trust. The project has involved two key elements. Firstly, developing new tools to support the Trust’s Sustainable Wildflower Harvesting Programme. This has included devising multi-lingual training materials (such as videos) and enhanced tools for assessing the environmental impacts of wildflower harvesting. Thus, the project is enabling socio-economic and environmental gains to be made. The presentations outlined the outputs from the project and also reflected on the broader challenges of developing effective training programmes and assessing environmental impacts. The second element of the project involved investigating ‘Ethical Consumption in the Western Cape’. We reported back on focus groups and key stakeholder interviews which shed light on questions such as: in what ways do ‘ethics’ inform consumer decisions? What types of ethics are important? What does ‘sustainability’ mean to people? How do local people view fynbos? Do they want to buy fynbos? Do campaigns and labels resonate with consumers? What matters more – conservation or social ethics? How are retailers interpreting and responding to these trends?

The workshop was interactive. Each section involved presentations followed by breakout groups and discussion, which were lively and thought provoking. Attendees at the Workshop included representatives from WWF, the Flower Valley Conservation Trust, Fruit South Africa, Tesco, Moss Group, CapeNature, SANParks, AFIT and Fairtrade Label South Africa.

Please click on the links below to access presentations and other resources:

Part One

Part Two

Sustainable Harvesting Videos


Tools of the Trade


Picking Single Stemmed Plants


The 50% Rule