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Producer Profiles

Du Toitskloof Cooperative

Du Toitskloof Wines is a prominent South African producer of a wide range of white and red cultivar and blended wines, in addition to noble late harvest and fortified wines. It is located near the town of Rawsonville in the Breede River Valley, at the entrance of the Du Toitskloof Mountain Pass.

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.
 

Quotable

I have the responsibly of Chairman of one particular project made possible with Fair Trade funds. As the leader, I feel very optimistic and motivated to move us in the right direction. I feel very positive to take on this position.  

Jan Vermeulen

The alcohol abuse problem has allowed the Joint Body to hire a psychologist. During the past year the project has helped 75 people out of drug and alcohol induced problems.  

Cynthia Pieterson

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

Programs

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.

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.

Youth Program Funding

Donations from Fair Trade premiums were given to the Fairhills Youth Club to fund their activities.