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.
GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY
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.
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.