“I am Fairhills”

A campaign introducing you to the people behind the brand

Charlet Moses, also one of the contributors to the blog, shares what Fairhills means to  her.

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One of the producers of the 22 farms in the Fairhills project, Francois Botha, tells us why Fairtrade got his vote.

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The start of the I Am Fairhills Campaign
The idea to do the first video struck us as we were walking through the vineyards talking to Jan Vermeulen (or Oom Jan as everyone knows him), chairman of the Fairhills Association, as part of our small profile series to have individuals in the project tell their stories.

Our chat was constantly and welcomely interrupted by shouts of “hellos” above the drone of the cutting machine which looked like a monster with tentacles reaching into several rows of the vineyard at once, men in blue milling around it.

Although there was clearly nothing easy about the job – everyone was earnestly pulling at tentacles, clipping, cutting, sweating, moving along with the winter sun warming their backs – it made for such a calming scene with the mountains as backdrop. Here were the people, hard at work, who contributed greatly to Fairhills being what it is. They were the faces behind the label.

We wanted to capture all of this, but had no “real” video-camera and pulled out what had: cellphones and good humor. Going back to the community center was not an option. We had such a bumpy ride to get next to the Stone Wall as the spot was popularly called, with the pick-up. Besides, Jimmy (the accountant for Fairhills) would have a heart attack if he saw where we’re driving this thing, Fielas Baadjies, our driver joked.

Everyone had to repeat just this one phrase: “I am Fairhills”. Of course there were manymiss takes and mistakes, but it was such fun. After the initial shyness disappeared, confidence grew. But we wanted to show other aspects of peoples lives as well. So we went back on a Sunday morning with a normal camera and caught a few faces before they rushed off to Sunday lunch, and we don’t think we’re done. We will continue to add new (less bumpy, more in focus) faces and voices!

*The track “My Home” from the album Choklit Soul in this clip is used with the kind permission of the artist Charl Pilwan. Charl is a South African singer, songwriter, music producer living and working in Hong Kong.

*Video-recording: Charlene Truter and Marlen Hendricks


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