The Kirsten story:
Since 1916 the Kirsten family have been farming table grapes in Paarl. This legacy which spans over a century still continues today with the fourth generation currently at the helm of the business.
The Kirsten family has always been involved in farming in South Africa, but it was in 1916 that the family settled its roots in the beautiful and historical town of Paarl, next to the Berg River.
First generation: Johan Frederick Hendrik (“Freddie”) Kirsten was born 24 August 1872 and bought the farm Groenvlei in Northern Paarl. He later sold Groenvlei farm and bought Vredenhof in 1916, also in Northern Paarl. Vredenhof was later divided into three smaller farms called Vredenhof, Eureka and Irene, Freddie Kirsten died on the 9th of October 1932, at the age of 60.
Second generation: Jan Marthinus (“Jan”) Kirsten was born 30 May 1906 and took over from his father in 1932 at the age of 26 years. He inherited Irene farm. Over the course of his farming career he bought Alphen, Eureka and Vredenhof from his two brothers. Jan Kirsten died on the 14th of August 1982 at the age of 76.
Third generation: Jacob Daniel (“JD”) Kirsten was born 19 November 1948. He inherited the farms Irene and Alphen in 1973 at the age of 25years. JD Kirsten also acquired Uitkyk in 1975, Keurfontein in 1978, St Elmo in 1980, Rooihoogte North in 1982, Laborans in 1994 and Rooihoogte South in 1995. He later sold Rooihoogte North and Rooihoogte South in Porterville, in 2009 to focus only on table grapes in the Northern Paarl region. JD Kirsten still serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the JDK Group.
Fourth generation: Johannes Albertus (“Altus”) Kirsten was born 31 July 1979 and Jacob Daniel (“Niël”) Kirsten was born 31 Maart 1983. The two brothers currently have equal shares in the JDK Group and took over in a managing position since 2011. The farms that are currently under management are St Elmo, Keurfontein, Uitkyk, Alphen, Irene and Laborans, since 2011. Recently Malanot, Klein Malanot and Eden farms were added to the group in 2017. Altus Kirsten serves as the Managing Director and Niël Kirsten serves as a Non-Executive Director on the JDK Board.
To be a leading world class producer of products that is sustainable in the long term and that creates wealth for the stakeholders.
To be a sustainable producer of premium quality products to our customers that is built on long term relationships and trust, with the goal to create wealth for all stakeholders.
The core values of JDK are quality, efficiency, integrity, sustainability and innovation
Five Rule Philosophy:
JDK’ strategy is based on a five rule philosophy:
Through this philosophy the company aims to excel the business to a world class organisation that values all the stakeholders involved.