Established in Elgin in 1995, Thandi – a Xhosa word meaning ‘nurturing love’ – is a wine that niches on quality, spawned the Fairtrade trend, and uplifts and empowers previously disadvantaged communities. In 2003, Thandi became the first wine brand in the world to receive Fairtrade accreditation.
The name Thandi, is derived from the name of the daughter of one of the key role players in the community, Trevor Steyn, who was instrumental in bringing the Thandi dream to life.
Revered for its refined elegance, Thandi’s secret to success is not the fact that good taste is a constant ingredient, but rather that the brand helps create wealth and uplifts previously disadvantaged communities. Profits and Fairtrade premiums are ploughed back into various upliftment initiatives such as the education of children (all levels up to university), training and development, health care support, home improvements and sport and recreation.
Thandi is South Africa’s first agricultural Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) project, as the company is owned by 147 farm worker families who hold 62% shares in the company. Furthermore, the Thandi community also holds farmland ownership over Lebanon Fruit Farm.
1995: First broad-based BEE project in agriculture
2003: First Fairtrade wine brand in the world
2004: First BEE company to win a gold medal at the International Wine Challenge
2004: First successful model for sustainable development in farming
2009: First fully independent broad based BEE wine company in South Africa