Category Archives: Ceres

Loxtonia Farm

Loxtonia Farm

Loxtonia Farm is situated in the heart of the Western Cape farmlands, in the Ceres Valley. The farm has been owned by the Whitfield family since 1990 and is run with core family values – considering honesty, commitment and sustainability as priorities for the success of the business.

Loxtonia is situated about 550m above sea level in a winter rainfall area with an average rainfall of 850mm annually. Apples, pears and plums are exported worldwide from this farm, while a small percentage of fruit is also supplied to the local South African market. All fruit types grown on Loxtonia are cooled, stored, packed and dispatched from the Farm.

Loxtonia has also recently launched their own Apple cider brand named after the farm: Loxtonia Cider. The philosophy is “Orchard to bottle” and sustainability is at the core of it all. The ciders are preservative-free, gluten-free and vegan-friendly. The ciders are made at their facility on the farm from their own apple varieties. The left-over pulp is used as mulch in the apple orchards, resulting in full utilization of the apples and no wastage.

Sustainability is one of Loxtonia’s core values and is highly prioritized in all aspects of the business. Sustainable farming and water usage practices are prioritized, as well as the use of solar power to generate as much green electricity as possible. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is used to eliminate or drastically reduce the use of pesticides. IPM uses a variety of techniques including cultural, biological and structural strategies to control a multitude of pest problems and find practical ways to minimize the toxicity of and exposure to pesticides and chemical products.




Land Reform: Dwarsberg Farming

Larry Whitfield acquired the neighbouring farm, Dwarsberg, in 2017 at an auction. His vision with this farm was to empower 10 of his long time-time serving farm workers to become shareholders, each owning 10% of the Farm. With guidance and assistance from Gerrit van Vuuren from PALS (Partners in Agri Land Solutions), they successfully formed a 100% black empowerment company called Dwarsberg Farming. Each shareholder is involved in a specific function which forms a crucial element in running the Farm. The farm now consists of 6.7 hectares of pears and 27.51 hectares of stone fruit.


Loxtonia creche is a home away from home for their workers’ children, with the added benefit of committed and well-trained staff members. The education and well-being of every child is top priority.

Computer Library:

Rural areas are most affected by poor learner grade results due to lack of access to good materials such as computers with internet. There is also a high percentage of school dropouts before matric (grade 12), because learners are not motivated due to the illiteracy of their parents.

With this in mind, a refurbished container has been set up at the worker housing area which provides access to computers with educational programs and internet access. The vision is to ensure that the children develop to their full potential and remain committed learners until they finish school. The long-term goal of this project is to improve Computer Literacy, Society Upliftment and a Reduction in the Digital Divide.


Verdun Estates

Verdun Estates is a family business in character and tradition. The farm was acquired by Izak and Bertha Wolfaardt in 1918, and it is one of the oldest farms in Prince Alfred’s Hamlet. What started as a mixed farming venture (as was the norm of the region in those years) has now turned to focus on stone fruit, specifically nectarines, since the 1980s.

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, and the business is currently in the hands of the 4th generation – Peter Wolfaardt and Georgina Hewitt.

When Verdun’s planting potential was maximized in the early 2000s, the Company looked at acquiring other land with the goal to expand its business. The business has grown so that it now consists of 6 production units, all providing specific microclimates which are most favourable to the nectarines, peaches, flat peaches, plums, apricots and pears grown by the group. Verdun Estates has an aggressive growth and replacement strategy, continually searching for new falvourful varieties to expand their offer. They also continually invest in infrastructure and technology to stay competitive in the global market.


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

The management of Verdun Estates recognized the importance of a dedicated, skilled and committed labour force. They are immensely passionate about and committed to the recruitment, training and development of their people. They also believe in healthy and happy communities and continually invest in the well being of their work force and their families.


Land Reform: La Vouere

In 2017, as part of their Land Reform goals and the PALS initiative, Verdun Estates became involved in a farming venture together with Raymond & Mary Koopstad, owners of La Vouere Farm in Ceres. Together they formed a joint venture, of which Verdun holds the minority share. La Vouere has access to many of the new varieties, and the well-established packing and marketing channels through Verdun Estates. This has been a very fruitful partnership for all parties involved.


Kalos Farming

Kalos Farming (Pty) Ltd

Daniel Goosen is part of the fifth generation of Goosen’s farming on the original Waboomsrivier farm, on which the town of Prince Alfred’s Hamlet originated. After two generations, the farms were split between the 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 reins. Kalos Farming currently consists out of five production units on which we farm with peaches, nectarines, pears, wheat, canola, sheep, and cattle.

In 2009 a stone fruit packhouse with cooling facilities was built on the Perdefontein production unit. This facility handles the packing of all fruit from the different units. In 2017 the packhouse was expanded with a second pack line and larger cooling facilities to accommodate the growing volumes of stone fruit as well as pears from the production units.

In 2015 a production area was identified and set aside for the KAJA Project to empower Kalos workers in the agricultural sector. The farming and business knowledge and experience that the Kalos Farming management team offers is used to mentor the workers effectively.

Kalos Farming further provides for the well-being of their staff by encouraging valuable training, ensuring safe and secure housing, and offering daycare facilities for the children of their workers.

Daniel and his wife, Lilian, base their success on faith and a strong social and environmental responsibility, all of which form a stable foundation for their business. They believe in an open and 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 in 1861 and is one of the oldest farming families in the Prince Alfred’s Hamlet area. Born from a lineage of pioneers, the management of the business currently lies with the 5th and 6th generations, including Danie, Janus and JC Goosen as directors of the company.

The business 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, providing the opportunity to grow a wider range of varieties from early to late season.

Since 2003, the Goosen Family has also been part of a Black Economic Empowerment project. The Denou Farming (Pty) Ltd production unit was purchased with the aim of the Den Haag Workers Trust owning 51%, and the Goosen Family owning 49%. The Den Haag Workers Trust is represented by the workers of Ou Stasie and Jagerskraal, and offers the opportunity for said workers to be empowered through this project.

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

Ceres Cascade Farms is composed of two unique farms, each with its own distinct character.

The original farm, Montana, was inherited by Pietie Wolfaardt from his father who previously used it as a stock farm from 1961. The land is a mountainous terrain with a very harsh and dry climate. Water for this farm is transported kilometres from its source by various pipelines and canals as little to no fresh water can be found on site. Due to these unique conditions of the farm, it was previously used as a dry yard where it was common to see a sea of fruit packed out to dry in the harsh African sun. Now Montana is a thriving hub of activity with the packhouse and cooling facilities for both farms.

The second farm, Cascade, was purchased in 1984 by Pietie and his wife, Shannon, and now houses the administration functions of the business. Named after the waterfalls found in the Skurweberg mountain, this farm has a more moderate climate with high rainfall and various soil types. This abundance of water can often create a challenging farming environment as the two rivers crossing the farm are prone to flooding in the wet winter months. These challenges are evident in the farm’s history as it was previously a guest farm and a dairy before converting to its current production of pome fruit, stone fruit, and beef cows.

The combined 1 317 hectares of the two sites include a breathtaking mountain wilderness area. In conjunction with Cape Nature and the Waboomsberg Conservancy, 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 one of their most valuable resources. From training to facilities, they provide support within and outside of the workplace. The farms’ staff are intimately involved in the community and are regularly volunteering with local events such as Parkrun and local sports clubs. Prince Alfred’s Hamlet’s school and rugby club have been supported with the reestablishment of their playing fields and Ceres Cascade Farms is proud of the fact that a disadvantaged community is now able to practice and play on fields that are safe for use and illuminated at night. Ceres Cascade Farms staff also serve their community by serving on the following committees and boards:

  • committee member of Witzenberg municipality
  • Warmbokveld and Witzenberg farmers association
  • Cape Winelands Fire Association
  • various school committees
  • church and spiritual orders


Ceres Cascade Farms is a multi-generational business that 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, they are making the most of the technology available to them by implementing advancements every year. They plan to continue growing and expanding the business while maintaining their quality-driven heritage.