Environment & Community


Nature, our provider

We care for and nurture the precious natural resources we depend on for a sustainable future. Eradicating alien vegetation, protecting plant and animal species found nowhere else on earth, and conserving water, is not only a
priority for us, it’s become a way of life.

The Cape Floral Kingdom

The Cape Floral Kingdom, one of the smallest but richest of the six kingdoms found around the world, is one of our most important heritage assets, spanning 9000 plant species of which only 69 are widespread.

The Cape Winelands is the only wine growing area in a World Heritage Site and our farms are actively involved in restoring and protecting the indigenous environment found amongst our vines. Our farms are members of the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI) formed in 2004 between the South African wine industry and Western Cape conservation bodies, preventing the potential destruction of threatened lowland fynbos and Renosterveld in ecologically sensitive areas. For more information visit

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Integrated Production of Wine

All our farms and suppliers comply with the Integrated Production of Wine (IPW), a sustainability scheme established by the South African Wine Industry to ensure due consideration to the environment. From farming practices to production and packaging, our compliance is independently assessed annually and is on par with international environmental sustainability criteria.

In addition to the IPW seal, all Libertas and Vineyard Estates wines carry the Wine of Origin (WO) seal certifying that the vintage, varietal and origin is true, that the wine is produced sustainably, bottled in South Africa, and that the wine can be traced back from the bottle to the vine.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Champion

One of our farms, Plaisir de Merle, is a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Champion, one of only 38 farms in the country to have obtained this rare accolade. The rigorous yearly auditing process includes measurement of the clearing of alien vegetation, research and documentation of natural habitat, fire as well as river management, erosion control, water management and energy usage. Located on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain, Plaisir de Merle provides a sanctuary for local wildlife and threatened vegetation communities. The farm nurtures a spectrum of ecosystems from riverine and wetland, to natural vegetation corridors which support a wealth of diversity in plants, insects, birds and small mammals.

A few years ago, a rare protea specie was discovered, the Leucospermum Grandiflorum or Grey Leaf Fountain Pincushion, also known as the Rainbow Pincushion, making Plaisir de Merle one of only a handful of locations in the world where this iconic species can be found.

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ISO14000 compliant

All our farms are ISO14000 compliant, a series of standards that provide practical tools for managing environmental responsibilities. Requirements include establishing an environmental policy, determining environmental impacts of products and services, planning environmental objectives and programmes to measure these, and conducting corrective action and management review.

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Giving back

We are committed to supporting, empowering and uplifting our workers. It’s not merely talk. We participate in yearly audits, belong to a number of accredited bodies and initiated our own programmes in supporting our most valuable asset: our people.

WIETA accredited

Our farms are WIETA accredited, with some of the farms being the first in South Africa to pass the stringent set of criteria. The Wine and Agricultural Industry Ethical Trade Association (WIETA) is a multi-stakeholder, non-profit and voluntary organisation that actively promotes ethical trade in the wine industry. The focus is on improving working conditions for employees and members are assessed through audits, technical assessments and training to ensure they comply to WIETA’s code of good practice.

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Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI)

In addition, our farms are certified with the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), an independent auditing body that supports organisations to drive social development and improvements at the production sites and farms within their global supply chain. Social audits are used to evaluate producers’ performance against the BSCI Code of Conduct and audit results serve as a basis for action plans to formalise corrective measures within a prescribed deadline.

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In partnership with PROCARE we offer a wellness programme to farm workers on a selection of farms, which improves quality of life and overall well-being. The hands-on and practical remedial programme addresses community, social and psychological challenges that impact wine and farming in South Africa.

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Durbanville Hills Worker’s Trust

Durbanville Hills has established a Worker’s Trust which cares for the welfare of farm workers and their families across all nine member farms. The Trust, established in 2000, empowers the workers with a 5% equity stake in the company and the shares can be sold back to the company at market value once they reach retirement.

The social upliftment programmes of the Trust aim to improve the quality of life of employees on the surrounding farms as well as their families. To fund these community projects the Trust has established a number of income-generating initiatives such as planting an olive orchard at the cellar, leasing out the olive farming to an olive oil specialist, and accruing a percentage of each bottle of Durbanville Hills wine sold.

The Trust has over the years initiated a number of education-driven projects for farm workers’ children, including establishing a crèche for early learning development, improving facilities and equipment at the under-resourced rural primary schools, and sponsoring pupils to attend the nearby Durbanville High School. Life skills programmes for adults cover topics such as self-awareness, literacy, financial planning, alcohol and drug abuse awareness, and nutrition.

In recognition for their outstanding contribution to community development, Durbanville Hills received the international Ethical Award at the 2011 The Drinks Business Awards.

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Brands with purpose

Nederburg is the exclusive premium wine partner to Qhubeka, Africa’s pro-cycling team that rides to change lives. Team Dimension Data’s Qhubeka is the continent’s first UCI-registered World Tour cycling squad and spreads a love for cycling in an effort to build Africa’s professional racing skills. Since their inception in 2005, they have distributed more than 90 000 bicycles to those in need, increasing the distances and speed at which people can travel whilst having a significant impact on their self-worth.

Together with Qhubeka, Nederburg has embarked on a number of community upliftment projects to boost local small businesses, ranging from food gardens to guided bicycle tours in Khayelitsha, as well as a waste management and recycling education programme in Gugulethu.

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