The Stellar Foundation is a registered Section 21 non-profit company that receives and manages funds to run social development projects on and outside of the Stellar Winery Multi-Estate.
The foundation is run by a board of directors who oversee the business, and social development projects are managed by a small team from within Stellar.
So where do the funds come from? The Fair Trade Premium, a small amount built into the price of every bottle of Stellar Organic wine, and donor funding from outside the Fair Trade system.
And how are the funds used? A portion of the Fair Trade premium is used for social development projects on the Stellar Winery Multi-Estate. The projects are initiated and overseen by the Joint Body of the Stellar Empowerment Trust, of which all workers on the Multi-Estate are beneficiaries.
Other donor funding is spent on social development projects initiated either by the donor or by grassroots structures in the wider community.
Stellar Empowerment Trust is working hard.
A SAMPLING OF THE STELLAR EMPOWERMENT TRUST PROJECTS
- An organic vegetable garden established on the farm Boplaas in 2004 has become a secondary enterprise for one of the Stellar employees. Two more vegetable gardens have since been set up on farms in the Multi-Estate, both initiated by groups of farm workers who maintain the gardens for their own needs and sell the excess produce.
- A 22-seater bus has been purchased for transporting workers to work and social events.
- A primary health care system has been set up with a full-time medical officer doing routine screenings and follow-ups and health and lifestyle education. 300 workers and their families benefit from this vital service.
- Sunhats for field workers were handed out during the 2012 harvest.
- A holiday feeding and activity scheme for at-risk children in the town of Klawer has been running continuously since June 2011with the aid of volunteers and input from the local municipality and schools.
- Urban food gardens in the Klawer informal settlement are up and running with the aid of the Department of Agriculture.
What does the future hold for the Stellar Foundation?
The Foundation has proven that a lot can be achieved with the necessary drive and enthusiasm, however little money is available. As funding increases, the aim is to raise the Foundation’s profile within the donor community, but more importantly within needy communities, so that creative ideas for meeting development needs have a chance of becoming reality.