Located between Franschoek and Stellenbosch, we have been working closely with the team at Boschendal since 2014. With the farm’s history dating back to 1685, the team at Boschendal are now farming more intensively than ever before in its 330 years of existence.
After visiting Zaiger Genetics in California, Jacques du Toit, GM of Agriculture for Boschendal, became heavily invested in Fruits Unlimited’s vision for interspecific varieties. In just 3 short years, there will be 140 hectares of plums planted at Boschendal by the end of 2017.
Many of these new fruit trees are Zaiger Varieties, planted in partnership with The Custom Plum Company.
With social change at the heart of Boschendal’s vision, it has become a highly-diversified farming operation. Boschendal’s mixture of both early and late fruit varieties means that their picking and packing season has increased from 4–5 months to 9–10 months. This varietal spread and crop diversity directly impacts the stability of employment at Boschendal; whereas so-called day labourers would normally dominate on farms of this size, Boschendal have made a conscious decision to move away from this way of working and instead they have now added 370 jobs into the local community. This all-year-round employment brings not only immense stability to Boschendal as a business, but the knock-on effect within the local community is colossal. The surrounding communities in Simondium now have stable incomes and are prospering like never before.
Boschendal’s vision statement reflects this desire to see transformation in the local community: “Our dream is to make Boschendal a top agricultural farm; a sought-after producer of naturally-produced farm-to-table food and wine; a farm where our natural environment thrives; and where our staff and communities prosper.’ From employing local tradesmen, through to entering into JVs with local schools to accommodate more children who need education, Boschendal has become intimately involved in not only restoring this historic farm to its former glory, but is also creating much needed upliftment to local people through vibrant, innovative projects, making it truly an agent of great change.