The Dutoit Group is celebrating 130 years as a South African agricultural company. From Gysbertus du Toit settling on Kromfontein Farm in the Western Cape and planting the first fruit trees in 1893, to becoming one of the largest family owned fresh produce businesses, this agricultural investment company has a lot to celebrate.
The Dutoit family
The organisation incorporates the du Toit Family empowerment initiative and Dutoit Group, which includes Dutoit Agri, Newtrend Farms (which focuses on joint ventures with existing successful farmers), Dutoit Invest, Dutoit International and Libland. Heavily rooted in South Africa, Dutoit is a truly international brand with well-established and profitable alliances and capital investments globally.
Dutoit has almost 5 000 hectares of fruit and vegetables under irrigation in the lower altitude Warm Bokkeveld, the Berg River and Sandveld regions as well as in Langkloof in the Eastern Cape, in addition to the original higher altitude Koue Bokkeveld region.
Traditional and new varieties of apples and pears make up the bulk of Dutoit’s produce, with stone fruit which includes nectarines, plums, peaches and cherries. Dutoit packs 140 000 tons of fruit and 78 000 tons of vegetables annually.
Dutoit Vegetables incorporates six farms, specialising in onions, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Annually, the business produces 50 000 tons of onions, 20 000 tons of potatoes, 8 000 tons of sweet potatoes, as well as shallots, pumpkins and fresh garlic.
“While there has been significant innovation and transformation in agriculture over the last 130 years, what has remained resolute is our mission to produce, pack, market and distribute quality fresh produce for our clients and customers,” says Willem Coetzee, Chief Operating Officer at Dutoit Agri.
The 4th and 5th generations of Dutoit family members play a vital role in the day to day operations, with Henrie du Toit taking over from Pieter du Toit as CEO in coming months. Green integration and caring for the environment have become a key focus for Dutoit.
During peak harvesting season, Dutoit employs in excess of 8 000 workers. “As a leading farming, packing, marketing and distribution enterprise, we recognise that our employees underpin the core of the business, and that it is our social responsibility to empower and support the people in the communities we operate in,” Coetzee says.
“We are incredibly proud of the legacy that Dutoit has established over the last 130 years, a testament to our commitment, resilience and dedication to excellence. We want to pay tribute to every person who has played a role in our success, most importantly our employees who nurture our produce and handle it with the care it needs to ensure that the best quality products reach our customers,” says Coetzee.
At a recent staff appreciation event, which saw 65 staff members receive long-service awards, Gys du Toit Senior, celebrated 50 years at the company.