Category Archives: Ceres

Verdun

Verdun Estates

Verdun Estates is in character and tradition a family business.  The farm was acquired by Izak and Bertha Wolfaardt in 1918, it is one of the oldest farms in Prince Alfred’s Hamlet.  Started as a mixed farming venture as was the norm in this region, it has turned it’s focus to Stone Fruit, and specifically Nectarines, since the 1980’s.  It is noteworthy that the first Wolfaardt Nectarines graced the markets of the UK as early as 1924.  Over the years the tradition of complete family involvement was honoured, firstly by Piet Wolfaardt (2nd generation) and his wife Irene. Adrian Wolfaardt (3rd  generation) and his wife Lesley have recently retired from active farming, but still serve as Directors of the Company.

Currently, their children (4th generation) run the Company, Peter Wolfaardt is responsible for all the primary production and Georgina Hewitt is responsible for the Packing and Marketing as well as all the administration of the Company.

When Verdun became fully planted in the early 2000s, the company acquired Edenville farm in 2007 and Welverdiend farm in 2013 in order to expand their business. Renting Bordeaux Farm in since 2017 and Palmyra and Vredelus since 2020.

With the diversity in micro-climates between the different farms, Verdun Estates have managed to prolong their season.  They place great emphasis on varietal selections, and travel abroad to find unique varieties with exceptional flavours that deliver on shelf life, yields, fruit size and that can be farmed sustainably.  The Company has an aggressive orchard replacement program in place and strives to compete internationally as one of the industry leaders.
In 2017, as part of their Land Reform goals, Verdun became involved in a farming venture together with Raymond & Mary Koopstad, sole owners of the farm La Vouere, in Ceres. They, together with Verdun Estates formed the operating Company La Vouere Stonefruit(Pty)Ltd, of which Verdun holds the minority share. La Vouere has access to many of the new varieties available, as well as packing & established marketing channels through Verdun Estates.

To date 37.7 Ha of nectarines have been established, with the prospect of further growth.

Conservation is also high on the Company’s priority list. Despite abundant good quality water resources, special measures are taken to carefully schedule irrigation to protect this natural source.  Alternative, non-chemical plant protection options are continuously investigated. Energy efficiency and the protection of the bio-diversity of the land, are further priorities on the estate. 165 Hectares of Windhoek Sandstone Fynbos is still found on the mountainous areas on Verdun.

The management of Verdun Estates recognized the importance of a dedicated, skilled and committed labour force. Investments in training are made to ensure that their staff is adequately equipped.

Verdun Estates is also involved in various housing and day care projects – empowering their personnel to become home owners and providing safe and continuous care for the children of their workers.

Kalos Farming

Kalos Farming (Pty) Ltd

Daniel Goosen is part of the fifth generation Goosen’s farming on the original Waboomsrivier farm, on which the town of Prince Alfred Hamlet’s, near Ceres, originated. After two generations, the farms were split between brothers and the part he currently farms, became Bo-Jagerskraal (later renamed Waboomskraal). His father, Gerhard Goosen, farmed on this property since 1968, but after his sudden death in 1991, Daniel took over the reigns. Waboomskraal has a fruit production unit and a drying plant. Since 2000 he expanded the business by buying Jakkalsnek, a grain, cattle and fruit production unit, Perdefontein, that specializes in fruit and onion seedlings, as well as Langvlei, specializing in wheat and sheep farming. Today, these four production units form Kalos Farming (Pty) Ltd.

In 2009 a Stone Fruit packhouse, with cooling facilities, was built on Perdefontein. This facility handles the packing of all Stone Fruit from the different units. A second packhouse was built in 2017 to accommodate the growing surplus of Stone Fruit and Pears, with larger cooling facilities as well.

A piece of land has been identified from which the KAJA Project will be run with the purpose to empower workers in the farming business. The farming and business knowledge available in the Kalos Farming management team, will be used to mentor the new farmers effectively, enabling them to run the project with knowledge, responsibility and efficiency.

Daniel, and his wife Lilian, base their success on faith and a social and environmental responsibility that forms a strong and stable foundation for their business. In the spirit of empowering their workers, they helped their staff to become majority shareholders in the farm Eendvoëlvlei, which Daniel bought with three other growers in 2006 in the Ceres valley.

Kalos Farming further ensures the well-being of their staff by encouraging valuable skills training, ensuring safe and secure housing and providing day care for the children of their workers. Their community hall is always available to the staff for various occasions.

They believe in an open, approachable management style that enables good communication, and they further promote this through a very active workers committee. Daniel believes his faith, his passion for farming, the staff knowing what is expected from them and the investment he makes in creating a positive working environment, are the keys to his success.

 

Goosen Boerdery

DP & JC Goosen Boerdery (Pty) Ltd

The Goosen Family started farming on Jagerskraal, Prince Alfred’s Hamlet during 1861 and is one of the oldest farming families in the area.  Born from a lineage of pioneers, the management of the business currently lies with 5th and 6th a generation which consists of Danie, Janus and JC Goosen as directors of the company.The company consists of three farming units, Jagerskraal (Prince Alfred’s Hamlet), Ou Stasie (Wolseley) and Nuutbegin (Rawsonville).  Farming on both sides of the Skurweberg Mountain range has the benefit of two climate zones and the opportunity to grow a wider range of varieties from early to late season.

Since 2003 the Goosen Family has also been part of another fruit farm, Denou Farming (Pty) Ltd.    The Den Haag Workers Trust, represented by workers of Ou Stasie and Jagerskraal, owns 51 % and the Goosen Family owns 49% of Denou Farming.

All Stone Fruit for Stems are packed at a state of the art packing facility on the original farm, Jagerskraal.

Ceres Cascade Farms

Ceres Cascade Farms

Montana Farm was purchased in 1961 by Petrus Wolfaardt as a stock farm. Once he inherited it, Pietie Wolfaardt transformed the land into the fruit farm it is today. Joined by his wife, Shannon Wolfaardt, the pair purchased Cascade, a former guest farm, in 1984 to broaden the scope of the business. The variance of microclimates between the two sites enables the Wolfaardt family to produce quality Stone Fruit from early too late.

The combined 1,317 hectares of the two sites, includes a breath-taking mountain wilderness area. In conjunction with Cape Nature, portions of the Montana farm have been set aside to form part of a nature reserve; as it is one of the few known habitats of the endangered geometric tortoise. An injured wildlife release program also takes place further up the mountain to maintain the balance of the ecosystem.

Ceres Cascade Farms invests strongly in their staff as they recognize that they are the most valuable resource. From training to facilities, they provide support within and outside of the workplace. Community upliftment schemes currently include a running club, a dominoes club, a soccer team, as well as various life improvement opportunities.

Ceres Cascade Farms strives to continue producing fruit of the highest quality and identifying exciting varieties to plant from the best breeders worldwide. With an eye on the future, we are making the most of the technology available to us with advancements every year. We plan to continue growing and expanding the business while maintaining our quality driven heritage.