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 people. In 2003, Thandi became the first wine brand in the world to receive Fairtrade accreditation.
Already synonymous with superb quality, Thandi also advocates ethical trading and social transformation, with the community actively involved in the whole wine production chain.
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 people. Profits and Fairtrade premiums are ploughed back into various upliftment initiatives such as a crèche for farm worker’s children, tertiary education bursaries and basic adult education.
Thandi is South Africa’s first agricultural Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) project, as the company is owned by 250 farm worker families who hold 51% shares in the company. Furthermore, the Thandi community also holds farmland ownership over three farms, ranging between 50% to 100% shareholding.
It is very rare in the South African wine industry for a BEE group of this size to own both land and have shares in the business. Thandi can therefore be described as the first truly broad-based empowered wine company, and also the biggest black-owned exporting wine company, in South Africa.
Thandi is growing in leaps and bounds, gaining international acclaim and firmly establishing itself as a leading, award-winning empowerment wine brand.