OUR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: THE DURBANVILLE HILLS WORKERS' TRUST
Durbanville Hills Wines firmly believes in giving back and through a Workers’ Trust (The Durbanville Hills Share Purchase Trust) established in 2000, the workers of the nine producer-members of our cellar, together with our own cellar workers, obtained a 5% BEE equity stake in the business. The Trust, which is managed by five trustees, also has a seat on our Board of Directors.
The Trust also operates as the social investment arm of Durbanville Hills, working toward improving the quality of life of employees on the surrounding farms as well as of their children. To fund its community involvement the Trust initiated several income-generating projects of which the more important are:
- Olive farming: 6 ha of the land on which the cellar is located have been planted to olives. The orchards are leased to an olive farming specialist in the area who produces a high-quality extra-virgin oil which is sold under the Durbanville Hills name at the cellar. The full net income accrues to the trust.
- A percentage of the selling price of each bottle of wine produced by Durbanville Hills is donated to the Trust.
- An active fund-raising programme is undertaken on an annual basis such as a Carols by Candlelight evening at Christmas time, concerts and dinners, with all or some of the money going to the trust.
Education plays an important part in the work undertaken by the Trust. A crèche was established, together with community partners, on the farm Morgenster where some 20 toddlers are under the care of a qualified teacher. Facilities are improved at under-resourced rural primary schools attended mostly by children of farm workers to improve the quality of education. Equipment for classrooms such as computers as well as for organised sport is donated and all farm workers’ children wanting to attend the nearby Durbanville High School are sponsored by the Trust.
For the adults, life skills programmes are offered on the farms, with farmers providing the necessary facilities and allowing workers time off to attend. The programmes cover various areas such as self-awareness, literacy, financial planning, alcohol abuse awareness and health education. In recognition of the outstanding work the cellar has been doing in this regard, it (Durbanville Hills) received the Ethical Award at the 2011 The Drinks Business Awards.