It was established in 1956 as a citrus estate and soon it diversified with the first cane planted three years later in 1959. Canned Hippo Valley fruit was exported across southern Africa until the 1970s.In the wake of the sugar marker crush in 1975, the estate initiated irrigation programs to water its sugar plantations. Today, it is the major producer of sugar and in conjunction with Triangle Estate, has a fifty: fight holding in nearby Mkwasine Estate.
Hippo Valley Estates Limited is engaged in growing and milling sugar cane and other farming operations in Zimbabwe. The company operates in Agriculture, Milling, and Gaming and Other Farming Activities segments. The Agriculture segment is involved in the planting, maintenance, harvesting, and haulage of cane to the mill. The Milling segment crushes and produces raw sugar. The Gaming and Other Farming Activities segment deals with sugar packaging, game hunting and fishing, citrus fruits, and cattle ranching activities. The company is based in Chiredzi, Zimbabwe. Hippo Valley Estates Limited is a subsidiary of Tongaat Hulett Limited.
The sugar plantations cover 124 square kilometres, and the company employs around 5,000 people. The Cane sugar mill of Hippo Valley Estate has a capacity of 300,000 tonnes of sugar per year, mostly raw sugar and brown sugar. It also produces molasses which is then turned into ethanol. It is a major employer of the residents of Tshovani, the lone high density suburb in Chiredzi.
The company is a publicly listed company on the Zimbabwean Stock Exchange (under the ticker HIPPO). Tongaat Hulett Sugar is the largest shareholder via its wholly owned subsidiary Triangle Sugar and owns 50.35% of Hippo Valley Estates. Other shareholders include Tate & Lyle, the British agro company (10%).
Relationship with Chiredzi
The company has a special relationship with the town. In addition to providing schools and healthcare facilities, it also supplies all the water used in the town.It also provides employment to the locals and thereby increasing their standard of living