- launched the first ever fair-trade-certified wine in 2005
- all producers are co-owners of the vineyards and the winery in South Africa
- supplying Oxfam with wines of excellent value since 2008
« Since we started bottling our own wine, we have put part of our profits toward a fund for workers and owners. We use this to improve their living situations and pay for their children’s education. »
— Rydal Jeftha, manager at Koopmanskloof
South African wine of prize-winning quality
The Koopmanskloof vineyards are situated in the Stellenbosch region. This is one of the most important wine regions of South Africa. Wine from these parts is subject to high expectations and the fair-trade wine from Koopmanskloof lives up to them with aplomb. In recent years the organisation has racked up nominations and awards in both domestic and international competitions.
“Delivering on quality (info in Dutch) is really important to us. As is the way our wine is made. We don’t use any machines in the pruning of our vineyards and we pick the grapes by hand”, reveals Rydal Jeftha, manager of Koopmanskloof.
The grapes for the Koopmanskloof wines come from six divisions with charmingly South-African names like Vredehoek and Houdenmond. Together the vineyards span 457 hectares. Just under half of this area accounts for red grapes, the rest for white.
Koopmanskloof processes the grapes at its own winery and also bottles the wine itself. In short, this fair-trade company oversees its entire production process. It makes more profit as a result, which in turn benefits all its employees directly.
The world’s first fair-trade wine
It was a world first when Rydal Jeftha, manager at Koopmanskloof, launched the world’s first fair-trade wine. And it received a fair trade label (info in Dutch) from not one, but two external certifiers: FLOCERT and IMO Fair for Life.
As a true fair-trade pioneer, Rydal Jeftha seeks to further expand Koopmanskloof as a role model for sustainable development within the South African wine industry.
All its permanent employees are co-owners of the modern wine company. Which goes to show that black economic empowerment is high on the agenda for Koopmanskloof. Each year the company distributes dividends as supplementary income for its employees.
Sustainable in every respect
In addition to being fair-trade, Koopmanskloof is committed to sustainability in the broadest sense of the word.
- Koopmanskloof manages its own water supply, with six dams and reservoirs on the farm.
- Its estate contains 98 hectares of nature reserve, with indigenous ‘fynbos’ vegetation that Koopmanskloof actively protects.
- Koopmanskloof is a major employer in a region of significant unemployment.
Koopmanskloof & Oxfam
- The fair trade premium paid out to Koopmanskloof by Oxfam is managed by the Fairtrade Premium Committee. This is made up of worker representatives. It finances child day care, the improvement of the workers’ homes, a health insurance plan and study grants for the children of employees.
- Since the start of our collaboration in 2008, Oxfam has continued to increase the amount of fair-trade wine it purchases from Koopmanskloof.
- “Koopmanskloof and Oxfam are striving toward the same objectives. That’s why we’re so happy to work together. Ethical consumers can rely on us for a product that they can enjoy with a clean conscience”, Rydal concludes.
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