Our Story


Eskort, South Africa’s leading pork manufacturer and home to South Africa’s Best Loved Bacon and Gold Medal Pork Sausages was established in 1917. We pride ourselves in delivering uncompromised quality for over a century. Our products have a transparent journey and we adhere to the highest international safety standards. We have a wide range of over a hundred delicious products and 25 Eskort stores with even more variety on offer. We want to make your life delicious!


The core philosophy of Eskort’s Corporate Social Investment projects is to give back to the local community in which we operate. We believe we do good by doing good business. As a business that began as a co-operative, we fully understand the value of co-operation and the power of mutually shared goals.>

Our employees are key to our CSI strategy. With our employees being active members of the communities we operate in, we often take lead from our staff around which CSI initiatives and projects to invest in.

Community involvement has the power to bring positive, measurable change to our communities. We place a strong focus on sustainable community investment to uplift the society at large and improve the quality of life of those who have supported us over the past 100 years.

Our CSI pillars involve educating the youth by largely focusing on school sponsorships and skills development. We believe that to build our company; we must uplift our local communities by investing and supporting community development.

Eskort & Alexandra Secondary School feed the future

As South Africa’s leading pork manufacturer, Eskort has been a part of Mzansi lunch boxes for over a century and we want to earn our rightful place...




Farmers Cooperative Bacon Factory Inception 1917During mid 1917, a group of nine gathered at the Plough Hotel in Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal, to discuss the establishment of a Bacon curing factory in the area. By August 1917 the Farmer’s Co-operative Bacon Factory Limited was founded and building commenced on the banks of the Bushman’s River in Estcourt. The factory was officially opened on 6 June 1918 by General Louis Botha.


1920 Manufacture of Gold Medal Sausages commencedIn June 1919 the liner S.S. Saxon carried the first Bacon exports to the United Kingdom. These were excellently received by that market. At the 1920 Rand Easter Show the company secured the following awards: The only Gold Medal in the Agricultural Section, Silver Cup for Export Bacon, and Silver Cup for Export Hams. In the same year, the company was awarded a Gold and Silver Medal from the British Dairy Farmers Association at the London Dairy Show (the acknowledged Bacon Show of the World).

In 1920 the manufacture of the now famous Eskort Gold Medal Pork Sausages commenced and the Co-operatives’ continued marketing of excellent products was rewarded with the third successive wins in the Export Hams and Bacon categories at the 1922 Rand Easter Show. Tragedy struck in 1925 when a fire caused extensive damage to the factory and production was temporarily relocated to Nel’s Rust Dairy Limited in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Despite the setback, the Company gained the high honor of winning the top three prizes at the 1926 London Dairy Show.


2nd WW Pork products supplied to allied forces around the worldDuring the Second World War, over 1 million tins of Sausages were supplied to the Allied forces all over the world and over 12 tonnes of Bacon per week was supplied to convoys calling at Durban Harbour. Early in 1948 plans for a factory in Heidelberg, Gauteng were drawn up. This factory commenced production in September 1954. The retail Eskort Butchery, a favourite shopping stop for travellers between the Reef and Durban was opened in 1951. “World War II Advert: Mr and Mrs WILLIAMS, S.A. World Walkers. After having traveled 17,460 miles we still have to find BACON and SAUSAGES as good and as popular as ESTCOURT.”


1953 first Leyland Diesel TransportThe first Leyland Diesel transport was acquired in March 1953 at a cost of 2362 Pounds! During the 1950’s the company embarked on a concerted effort to improve the class of pig being received into the factory and this work, and the purchase of breeding stock played a major role in the development of reliable, quality raw material. The first vacuum packed, sliced Bacon in South Africa was made available in 1959.


Estcourt Butchery- Golden Jubilee 1967The Eskort Butchery in Estcourt (left) became a popular stop off on the Johannesburg – Durban national road around this time. The Golden Jubilee Year of 1967 was celebrated with plans for additional expansion at both Estcourt and Heidelberg which was continued vigorously to see Eskort become the single largest brand in the South African Processed Meat Industry.


Eskort Sliced BaconIn 1997 an automatic Bacon slicer and packer was installed. Further significant acquisitions of technology and machinery continue to be made each year to provide modern production procedures that focus on quality products and leading food safety standards.


Eskort Timeline LogoIn 1998 Eskort Bacon Co-operative converted to a Limited company, controlled by supplier shareholders.


Eskort RibsSince 2000, the Eskort product portfolio has been extended into the Fresh Pork market with products such as Spare Ribs, Bacon Cherry Sticks, Marinated Rashers and Smoked Eisbein being marketed at the Eskort Butcheries situated in Heidelberg and Estcourt. Many of these products including Gammons are packed under the labels of South Africa’s leading retailers and Eskort produces a range of products endorsed by Weigh-Less.


Eskort VarkfeesEskort is the proud sponsor of the Eskort Cavanagh Marathon, Kwai Challenge and, since 2009, Eskort has partnered with the School Easter Rugby and Hockey Festivals held at King Edward VII in Houghton. The company sponsors the annual Heidelberg Varkfees.


Centenary Flag Logo EskortDuring 2017, the Eskort celebrated 100 years of marketing quality products to the South African and International Markets, as well as being recognised as a leader in the development of a stable South African Pig Industry.


Eskort Butcheries2020 Eskort has opened 6 more butcheries over the last few years.  These include Eskort Butchery East Rand Value Mall, Princess Crossing, Xavier Boulevard, Centurion,  Honeydew and Nelspruit.


The number of our Eskort stores is growing each year; we grew from 9 to 25 stores countrywide in 2021; we’re working towards bringing the delight of Eskort products to every corner of South Africa.