THE OSTRICH IS A BIRD OF AFRICA and its true home is in South Africa’s Klein Karoo region. Large flocks of ostriches have roamed the plains of the Southern Cape for centuries. It is here in the Klein Karoo where the majority of ostrich activities are still concentrated. Since the onset of ostrich farming in 1864, South Africa is still the leader in the ostrich industry and has a 70% global market share. South Africa’s leadership role is due to its ideal climate, vast experience and expertise of all role players, as well as the high quality and continuous investment in research.
This arid, sunny area on the most southern tip of Africa is also home to Klein Karoo International Ltd, the world’s foremost producer of ostrich related products, supplying some 65% of all ostrich meat, leather and feathers found on international markets.
The Klein Karoo Co-operative was founded in 1945 in the town of Oudtshoorn, although local farmers already began domesticating ostriches in the region over 130 years ago. Since then ostriches have been bred for optimum production of quality meat, leather and feathers and it is this commitment to quality that is recognised by consumers of our products worldwide. Subsequently the KLEIN KAROO brand name has become synonymous with the best the exotic ostrich has to offer.
Over seven decades the Klein Karoo Co-operative specialised in not only ostriches, but also the production and marketing of vegetable seed. The co-operative developed into the Klein Karoo group of companies. In 2010 the co-operative changed to a company called Klein Karoo Limited which remains the holding company.
In 1985 Klein Karoo International Ltd (KKI) was established to focus solely on the processing of ostriches. Klein Karoo International Ltd has approximately 250 producers who supply ostriches to the company. These ostrich farmers are leaders in their field. Under the auspices of Klein Karoo International, they practise scientific farming management programmes, monitored by KKI, the Directorates of Animal Health and Veterinary Public Health. These monitoring programmes ensure that each bird remains healthy right up to the slaughter date, producing meat of the highest quality.
Klein Karoo International Ltd is committed to adhere to all international standards in relation to farming practices, processing, export requirements, biodiversity management, bio-security, and the humane treatment of ostriches, as prescribed by the industry’s code of conduct.