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) and Johan Uithaler (Production Manager) are just two of the success stories of these investments. The company’s dedication towards the community stretches even further – they support projects such as sports teams and even the local Star of Calvary Brass Band. They take care of their farm’s children through day care and a feeding programme for the toddlers, and provide transport for the older children to nearby crèches and 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.