The best thing is we are a good team
Sherleen Valentyn works for Rainbow Fruit in Paarl, South Africa, which packages our Traidcraft’s Fair Trade Dried Pear & Peach Fruit Snack & Fair Trade Dried Apple & Mango Fruit Snack. Traidcraft has been working with Rainbow Fruit since the group began and made an additional payment to help pay legal fees to set up a workers trust – giving workers like Sherleen shares in the new company.
For Loriana, the job at Rainbow Fruit came after a difficult time when she had no job and her mother became ill.
"Freedom to workship at church with her family on Sundays is one of the benefits of working at Rainbow Fruits valued by Sherleen, as she explained."
"I started when it opened. I used to know Ingrid [who set up Rainbow Fruit]. I was working on a wine farm where I used to work as a waiter. The reason why I left my job there was that I was working each weekend and we wanted to go as a family to church but since I had that job I couldn’t even go to church."
"I am in the church choir. My father is a priest. It is part of the old Apostolic Church. I was born into the church".
For the future, I feel confident
The best thing is that we are a good team. Each and every one of us, we can do each other’s work and we help each other a lot. The communication and understanding between our workers if very good and between the manager and also the people at Fruitworks, even if it is peak time. Sometimes we work overtime and we arrange transport home.
"As part of my money that I get from Rainbow Fruit I have bought a mini fridge, a small TV and especially in December, when my mum was busy visiting the doctor, I decided to buy her a vacuum cleaner because she cannot use the broom so much because of her arthritis. I helped to pay the hospital debt and if she has to go to the doctor, I will give her money"
Rainbow Fruit Background
Rainbow Fruits is a small packing unit, based in South Africa. Dried fruit is cut and packed by a group of previously disadvantaged black women. Working with Rainbow Fruits has given them access to training and personal development.
A Workers Trust has been set up, involving them as shareholders in the business. On-going business training is equipping them to take more active and informed roles. This type of small business, with worker shareholders, is pioneering in South Africa.