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

In 2008, I received a bursary from Fairhills which enabled me to further my studies in Nursing.  

Shelton Elbrink

Fairhills brought to our community what our employer, due to financial constraints, could not – funds to establish infrastructure that would address our community needs.  

Jan Vermeulen

With the assistance and guidance of our contributors, we as a community can move mountains in improving the conditions of our community and shaping the future for the next generation of the Fairhills Community.  

Cynthia Pieterson

Programs

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.

A Women's Social Club

Women members established a social club that gathers once a month and organizes speakers to discuss female needs of the organization and community.

Worker Technical Training and Protection

Fair Trade premiums help fund several technical trainings for workers throughout the year, and the occasional distribution of protective gear. Extra funds in one instance were used to upgrade chemical warehouses used.