Who we are

You will find us along the South African Garden Route, right in the heart of the Eastern Cape dairy region in Humansdorp. Our company is a team of ±1500 people, and we pride ourselves on our innovative thinking, speedy development of new products and excellent customer service.

Our story began in 1995 as a packaging plant for the milk produced on Woodlands Farm, owned by the Gutsche family. Never forgetting our humble beginnings, Woodlands Dairy is now one of the largest manufacturers of UHT milk in South Africa, marketed under our brand FIRST CHOICE®. In addition to our FIRST CHOICE® brand, we also process, produce and package high-quality dairy products for leading retailers such as Spar and Woolworths.

Our range includes various cheeses, butter, cream, amasi, custard, flavoured milks and extended shelf life (ESL) fresh milk, UHT Milk and Dairy Desserts.

Our vision

To be the most admired dairy company in Africa.

Our mission

To produce and deliver superior food products, whilst honouring our commitment to service excellence, integrity and conserving our environment.

To satisfy the needs of all our stakeholders, ensuring growth and prosperity for everyone involved.

Our core values


We operate with integrity in all our dealings.


We are passionate about our business and brands.
We are highly energized and diligent.
We strive for excellence in everything we do.
We prize innovation that adds value.


We only produce and sell high quality products.
We deliver on our promises.


We recognise the importance of our people.
We believe in teamwork and accountability.
We are open and respectful towards everyone.
Our staff are assets; our relationships are investments.


We are diligent in reducing our carbon footprint.
We strive to reduce all levels of usage and wastage.
We are a zero packaging to landfill facility.

Our Shareholders

GUTSCHE FAMILY INVESTMENTS (GFI), a family-owned business, is the major shareholder in Woodlands Dairy and owns 75% of the business. Two black owned partners, namely African Pioneer Group (Pty) and Nozala Investments (Pty) Ltd, jointly hold 25% of the company.

Gutsche Family Investments is also an 80% shareholder of Coca-Cola SABCO, a franchised bottling company which operates in South Africa and a number of other countries.

AFRICAN PIONEER GROUP (PTY) has investments in Emfuleni Resorts, Afribet, Pioneer Fishing (Pty) Ltd, Coca-Cola Fortune, Pioneer Slots, TEWA Power (the first black owned energy company in South Africa) and various other entities. Their first black shareholders are from Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth and there are approximately 42 black shareholders. Stephen Dondolo, the Chief Executive Officer, is also a director of Woodlands Dairy.

NOZALA INVESTMENTS (PTY) LTD is a broad based women’s empowerment group focused on the acquisition of significant interests in listed and unlisted companies operating mainly in the resources and industrial and consumer services sectors. The company was formed in 1996 and is controlled by its founding members through Nozala Holdings Limited (“Nozala Holdings”) and the Nozala Trust, established for the benefit of women from previously disadvantaged communities. Nozala also has, as its shareholders, a number of women empowerment groups which together hold a total equity interest of 26% in the company and represent more than 500 000 individuals throughout South Africa.

The shareholders have agreed that 20% of all dividends received by the BEE partners from Woodlands Dairy will be contributed to a broad based benefit scheme, after the external funders of the BEE transaction have been fully repaid. This money will be utilized to render a service to the previously disadvantaged community in the Kouga municipality region, which is where Woodlands Dairy has its roots.