Excelsior Farm is located between Villiersdorp and Worcester, and has been in the Jacobs family since August 2001. This formidable team consists out of Janco Jacobs, who majored in Agriculture and previously acted as agri-adviser together with his wife Evelyn, who worked as a Technical Manager at an export company for 9 years. Whilst Janco is in charge of production, Evelyn manages the packhouse and finances, and Paul Jacobs, Janco’s father, handles all maintenance and human resources.
Of the 390 hectares, 38 hectares are cultivated with fruit planted in a narrow valley at the foot of the Rivier-sonder-end Mountains that separate the Breede Valley from the Overberg region. Situated in a drier area called the Bossieveld (Shrub veld), the farm has a unique micro-climate. The sunnier and drier environment provides for lower fungal pressure, higher sugars in Stone Fruit and good fruit size. The farm accumulates around 600 chilling units annually, resulting in good quality fruit harvested from early to late.
Excelsior focuses on the production of quality fruit. It houses ten permanent families on the farm, and the Excelsior team strongly believes in the well-being and development of their employees. They provide a wonderful day care facility for all children under the age of 6 years which is run by Elize Jacobs, Janco’s mother. They are also involved in a producer-initiated social programme, called “SHINE”. This program is run by two social workers who organize a range of events for the whole family. It focuses on employee training during working hours in programs such as financial management, HIV-Aids education, family planning, addiction and more.
The Jacobs family is serious about conservation, and strives to reduce the spraying of chemicals on their crops. They have been involved in the SIT-Project (Sterile Insect Technique) as well as mating disruption for the past 8 years. They have a very good monitoring system in place.
The mulching of their orchards also reduces the need for the use of herbicides.
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