In 1995, our journey commenced as a modest packaging plant for the milk produced on Woodlands Farm, under the ownership of the Gutsche family. Rooted in these humble origins, Woodlands Dairy has since evolved into one of South Africa's foremost manufacturers of UHT milk, proudly marketed under our renowned brand, FIRST CHOICE®. Beyond FIRST CHOICE®, we specialize in the processing, production, and packaging of high-quality house brand dairy products for esteemed retailers like
SPAR and Woolworths.
Nestled along the picturesque South African Garden Route, our operations thrive in the heart of the Eastern Cape dairy region, in Humansdorp. Comprising a dynamic team of approximately 1700 dedicated individuals, we uphold our reputation for innovative thinking, rapid product development, and exceptional customer service.
In an exciting development, the Woodlands Group acquired 100% of Fairfield Dairy, located in the enchanting Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands, in 2022. While Fairfield boasts a limited range of Fairfield branded products, its true strength lies in processing, producing, and packaging high-quality house brand dairy items for esteemed retailers such as SPAR, Woolworths, and Pick ‘n Pay. Notably, Fairfield is renowned for its exceptional yoghurts, flavoured milks, and fresh milk.
Within our FIRST CHOICE® range, we offer an extensive selection, including a variety of cheeses, butter, cream, amasi, custard, flavoured milk, extended shelf life (ESL) fresh milk, UHT milk, milk powder, dairy desserts, dessert toppings, yoghurt, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, dips, and ice cream.
Our journey continues, embedded in our commitment to excellence and a passion for delivering the finest dairy products to South African and African households.
To be the most admired Dairy company in Africa.
To produce and deliver high quality food products, honouring our commitment to integrity, service excellence, conserving our environment, social upliftment and striving for growth and prosperity of all our stakeholders.
Integrity is Paramount - We operate with integrity in all our dealings.
We are Passionate about Woodlands Dairy and our customers:
We Care about the Environment:
All People are Important:
We Govern Woodlands Dairy with excellence - We subscribe to the highest level of governance in all spheres of the business.
At Woodlands Dairy, we take immense pride in our exceptional in-house capabilities and extensive capacity for product development. One of our paramount commitments is to continuously innovate and introduce new product lines that resonate with evolving market trends and meet the ever-changing needs of consumers.
In the realm of product development, we are driven by a relentless pursuit of excellence, leveraging our expertise to craft offerings that not only align with current market dynamics but also anticipate future demands. Our focus is firmly fixed on delivering products that inspire and delight consumers, creating a positive impact on their lives.
Furthermore, our journey in sustainable packaging has been a transformative one. Over the years, we have steadfastly evolved our packaging solutions to be more environmentally conscious and sustainable. We remain at the forefront of technological and product advancements in the world of packaging, ensuring that our products are not only of the highest quality but also packaged in a manner that is both eco-friendly and forward-thinking.
At Woodlands Dairy, we are dedicated to not only meeting but exceeding the expectations of our consumers. Our commitment to innovation, sustainable practices, and superior packaging underscores our unwavering dedication to delivering excellence in every aspect of our products and services.
All our milk is sourced from South African farmers and the majority of our milk originates from the lush pastures of the Eastern Cape, the vibrant heart of South Africa's dairy industry. We are privileged to partner with dedicated farmers who uphold the highest quality standards in milk production. At Woodlands Dairy, our commitment goes beyond business; it extends to the principles of sustainability.
We firmly believe in making decisions that are not only beneficial for our business but also contribute to the sustainability of our environment and communities. In this spirit, we actively engage with our farmers through our Woodlands Dairy Sustainability Programme, a collaborative effort in partnership with the independent company, Trace and Save. This initiative ensures comprehensive management encompassing staff wellbeing, environmental stewardship, and animal welfare.
Our commitment to sourcing our milk from pasture-fed cows and our active involvement in sustainable practices underscore our unwavering dedication to responsible and ethical dairy production. At Woodlands Dairy, we believe in fostering a harmonious balance between business success and the well-being of our environment and society.
Nestled within our operations lies a sophisticated production plant, meticulously designed to process top-quality products within a pristine and hygienic environment.
Equipped with cutting-edge technology, our production plant stands as a testament to innovation and efficiency. Here, advanced machinery merges seamlessly with the dedication and expertise of our highly motivated and skilled staff. The result is a production process that not only meets but consistently exceeds the most stringent quality standards.
At Woodlands Dairy, we take immense pride in the precision and excellence that define our production plant. It's a space where our commitment to delivering the finest dairy products comes to life, every day.
Our highly motivated team is the driving force behind making our exceptional products readily accessible to consumers. You'll find our products stocked at all major retail outlets, wholesalers, foodservice providers, and independent stores throughout South Africa.
Our commitment to ensuring availability and convenience is a testament to our dedication to customer satisfaction. We work tirelessly to ensure that our products are within arm's reach for everyone, from bustling urban centres to remote communities.
Moreover, our strategic location near the Port Elizabeth harbour is a crucial advantage. It grants us the ability to swiftly export our premium products to global markets. This proximity to a key transportation hub further reinforces our capability to bring the excellence of Woodlands Dairy to discerning consumers around the world.
At Woodlands Dairy, our production process is a source of immense pride. Our modern facilities stand as a testament to our commitment to excellence, boasting cutting-edge technology that sets the benchmark for world-class standards. This unwavering dedication serves a singular purpose – to manufacture outstanding products that not only meet but exceed the expectations of our valued customers.
Our persistent pursuit of the highest quality levels propels us to create a harmonious synergy between production and the people who make it all possible – our dedicated employees. We recognize that they are the backbone of our success, and we prioritize their growth and well-being.
By nurturing the skills and knowledge of our personnel, we empower them to adapt seamlessly to the ever-evolving demands of the marketplace. This adaptability ensures that quality and efficiency consistently operate at peak levels, enabling us to meet the dynamic needs of our customers with precision and care.
At the heart of our work environment are our core values: integrity, passion, customer-centricity, the significance of our people, and environmental stewardship. These values aren't just words on a page; they are woven into the very fabric of Woodlands Dairy. They guide our decisions, inspire our actions, and create an environment where innovation and the human spirit flourish, leading us towards a future defined by excellence and sustainability.
By nurturing the necessary skills and knowledge in our personnel, they can adapt to the changing demands of the marketplace and keep quality and efficiency at optimum levels. We remain driven by our core values, those being integrity, passion, our customers, the importance of people and the environment. These values embody and are forever ingrained in the Woodlands Dairy work environment.
Gutsche Family Investments (GFI), a family-owned business, is the major shareholder in the Woodlands Dairy Group 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.
has investments in Emfuleni Resorts, Betting World, Pioneer Fishing (Pty) Ltd, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa, 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 the Woodlands Dairy Group.
was established in 1996 as a broad-based women-led and controlled investment company. A separate legal entity, the Nozala Trust was also established to specifically address the development of women entrepreneurs and their economic needs, by supporting business start-ups of its empowerment shareholders and other women groups.
The predominant focus of this intervention is targeted at rural and peri-urban areas of South Africa. Nozala’s philosophy is to support equity investments where there’s scope for strategic operational involvement through value-adding activities