Historic upliftment agreement announced at family winery

Wednesday, 4 February, 2009
Lelienfontein Vine Growers & Bosman Fam Vineyards
In a landmark joint venture, the Adama Workers Trust and the Bosman family of Lelienfontein have formed the biggest upliftment land reform deal in the wine industry to date.
A 50% share of some 430ha of prime vineyard land has been transferred to Adama Appollo Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adama Workers Trust. The land includes award-winning vineyards at De Rust farm in Wellington, the neighbouring farm Olyfboom, and De Bos Estate in the Hemel and Aarde Valley. Also included is a share in the Bosman Family Vineyards wine cellar at Lelienfontein, and a stake in operational and vine growing company JC Bosman Boerdery. Some 260 workers are beneficiaries of the transaction, all of whom have worked on the farm for three years or more.

Petrus Bosman, Director: JC Bosman Boerdery said, "We chose a joint venture as the means for the transaction to increase its sustainability. This involves our core business, from growing vines to making wine, therefore mentoring and support will be part of our daily work."

"Although this transaction has a focus on land reform," Petrus said, "we also wanted to give our workers access to the full value chain; its economic benefits and prospects for social development. We therefore chose a combination of farmland, operations, cellar and marketing."

Rita Andreas, Chairman of the Adama Workers Trust, said. "In the short term we will focus on skills development, but our long-term vision is the sustainable growth of the group. We believe that, with the help and expertise of the Bosman family, we will achieve our collective goals."

Upliftment has always been a focus at the Lelienfontein farm, with Petrus Bosman and father Jannie proposing the transaction to the Adama Workers Committee in early 2007. A land reform application was submitted by the workers to the Department of Land Affairs in November 2007, approved in August 2008, and finalised in December.

The transaction was funded by the Land Affairs grant, with the Bosmans and the farm workers also contributing. Many of the beneficiaries have worked on the farm for more than 25 years.

The workers will have access to 250 ha of vineyards, the highest quality winemaking facilities and a stake in Lelienfontein Vine Growers; the biggest vine nursery in Africa. The grapes will now qualify for Fairtrade accreditation; as will the wine, which will be produced at Wamakersvallei Winery.

Rita Andreas, Chairman: Adama Workers Trust - Biography
Speech: Rita Andreas, Chairman: Adama Workers Trust

Petrus Bosman, Director and family member: JC Bosman Boerdery - Biography
Speech: Petrus Bosman, Director: JC Bosman Boerdery

Petrus Bosman, Director: JC Bosman Boerdery, Ivan Thomas, Director: Adama Investments, Rita Andreas, Director: Adama Investments and Jannie Bosman, Director: JC Bosman Boerdery.