Du Toitskloof Cooperative
Du Toitskloof Wines was established by six wine farmers as a cooperative in 1962. Today, it has an estimated 22 members, many of them second-generation descendants of the founders. They live in a close-knit community within a 10 kilometers radius from the cellar and take much pride and interest in their work.
In April 2005, Du Toitskloof Wines joined forces with Origin Wine to collectively work on improving workers’ and families’ standards of life. Du Toitskloof’s farms became Fair Trade Certified™ in September this same year, and a Joint Body was formed consisting of forty farm workers, two farm owner representatives and one exporter representative. The collaboration was registered nationally as a legal entity and was named the Fairhills Association. Du Toitskloof is funded by the sales of their quarter-ownership of the Fairhills Wine brand and the Fair Trade premium.
Du Toitskloof has the capacity to make fifteen million liters of wine, which allows the Fairhills Wine brand ample room to grow. In 2005 alone, 1.2 million liters were exported to the UK under the Fair Trade logo, with an estimated 10 million liters of certified Fair Trade wine available at this moment.
The ultimate goal of the Fairhills Association is to purchase and cultivate its own farmland and become entirely self-sustainable. They also plan to turn parts of their land into an eco-tourism haven.
Today, I can stand for myself because Fairhills has created an opportunity for me to head the day care centers. I am responsible for three centers, 24 caretakers and 168 infants and toddlers. Between 2005 and 2007, I have participated in various short courses about education and childcare as well as financial and business management. ”
Fairhills and Fair Trade has brought us from a point whereby we, as the next generation of our country, had no ambition, motivation or direction in life, to a situation whereby we are shaping our own futures and creating opportunities our parents were not able to experience. ”
Group of Fairhills Students
This initiative has given us a better understanding of our relationship with our employer and has brought farmers closer together as a working community. ”
Craft Shop and Employment Opportunities
The Fairhills Association established a hand craft shop with a fully equipped coffee shop, co-owned by employees and community members. The business employed 14 individuals, three of which were born with alcohol syndrome but could still work. Most workers at the Craft Shop are women.
Health Program for Environmental Workers
The Fairhills Association initiated training for environmental coordinators, including tips on health and safety. First-Aid practices were taught in this program.
A Community Library
The Fair Trade premium has helped build a fully equipped library at the association headquarters for community and member use.
Health and Rehabilitation Program
In addition to helping develop a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, Fair Trade premiums introduced a consultation program for victims of child and family abuse. Nurses and doctors were financed through the premium as well, working to monitor and assess community members’ health conditions. All members received eye examinations and were given appropriate eyewear when needed.