Category Archives: Lady Smith

Spera

Spera Farm (Pty) Ltd

Starting off as a small family-owned farm in 1830, Spera evolved from farming with livestock and ostriches to the production of deciduous fruit.  Their first Apricots for export were packed in 1948, followed by Plums in 1962. The farm has been under management of 4th and 5th generations Van der Merwes in the persons of Pieter van der Merwe (since 1980) and his son, Matthys (since 2010).  Big expansions were made since the 80’s and Mediterranean Figs – ideally suited to this area – were also introduced alongside the Plums and Apricots.

Spera Farm has a commitment to sustainable farming and the cultivation of excellent produce.  All of their fruit are packed on the farm. They believe in the optimization of their human resources, whilst also contributing to the social development of their workers and their children.  Social responsibility for them stretches from ensuring safe work and living conditions for their staff, to investing in training and skills development.

Gerrit Mclune (Supervisor) is just one of the success stories of these investments. Currently the farm sponsors three tertiary scholarships. The company’s dedication towards the community stretches even further. Community projects such as donations towards sports teams, musical and educational programs are upheld. They take care of their workers’ children through day care and a feeding programme for the toddlers as well as providing transport for the older children to nearby primary schools.

The Van der Merwe family strives to be worthy custodians of the land and environment entrusted to them and aims to keep the bio-diversity in the veld intact.  They take conservation very seriously and as from 2011 gradually moved towards biological pest control. Farming in an area where the annual rainfall is only 300mm, the maintenance of the river as a primary water source, coupled with optimum water usage procedures, ensure a future for the production of fruit on this farm.

Cerasus Farm

Cerasus Farm

At the foot of the Swartberg Mountains, Cerasus Farm was established in 2006. Nestled in the shadows of some of the highest mountain peaks in the Western Cape. It quenches its thirst from the melting snow of these mountains.

Owner Johan Furstenberg, fellow director PG van de Merwe and General Manager Andre Mouton, are responsible for the management of this production unit.

They are supported by operational managers in production administration and packing, who together ensure that the handling of the produce is closely supervised from orchard to market.

The Cerasus fruit season starts in November with Apricots and ends in May with pomegranates.

To prolong their fruit season, they skillfully use the different soil types and slopes for management and timing for each orchard harvested.

Cerasus manage the farm as a business and believe not to remain locked in the old methods but to innovate, understand and supply the right markets and keep a sustainable competitive edge over other businesses.

Cerasus Fruit Packers was established in 2016 and equipped with a new 16 drop electronic weight sizer for optimization of production and fruit handling. The packhouse and Cooling facilities are managed by Jacques Smit.

The farm constantly works towards a more sustainable and serene agricultural and business environment while building and sustaining relationships.

Cerasus forms part of the Hoeko irrigation scheme and water from the melting snow is collected in storage dams during winter for irrigation purposes. 80% of irrigation is done by means of natural gravitation, resulting in a dramatic decrease in electricity usage.

Cerasus is passionate about their business culture and its mission remains positive to inspire others.