About us admin March 4, 2024

About us


Boplaas 1743 Estate

Boplaas 1743 Estate is a wholly owned group of export fruit producing farms and agriculture-related enterprises located in the Western Cape region of South Africa.

The group cultivates top-tier pome, stone and citrus fruit, along with medicinal cannabis on its four farms located in some of South Africa’s finest fruit producing regions. It also owns a state-of-the-art citrus and stone fruit packing and cooling facility which also provides contract packing services to the surrounding citrus and stone fruit farms. The group’s export footprint includes more than 80 countries in Europe, the Far and Middle East, South-East Asia, North America, Africa and Australia.

A rich heritage and a firm moral foundation

At the core of the group’s operations is the farm Boplaas, located near the town of Ceres, approximately 200 km north-east of Cape Town. Established in 1743 and initially granted to Izaak van der Merwe, the farm has remained in the Van der Merwe lineage through successive generations.

As the oldest family owned business in South Africa, it symbolizes a continuous legacy of knowledge and commitment on this fertile and water-rich land. Today, Schalk van der Merwe, the tenth-generation custodian, manages the cultivation of the farm, which serves as home to him, his wife Kyla, and their youngest – an eleventh generation Van der Merwe – baby Fanie.

The farm holds a significant family, cultural and national history. The immaculately maintained homestead and main dwelling, built in 1780 in the Cape vernacular style, along with the other historic buildings on the only remaining traditional farmyard in South Africa – the barn, watermill, baking house and soap house – received national monument status in 1973 (later updated to being a provincial heritage site). The farmhouse itself hosts a rich and diverse collection of antique household items, décor elements and furniture used over the centuries. The furniture, mostly handcrafted, incorporates 21 different wood species, including yellow, cedar, and stinkwood.


Boplaas has family and historical connections with the esteemed Afrikaans writer and poet, I.W. van der Merwe (Boerneef), who maintained strong affiliations with the farm throughout his life. Eighth generation farmer on the land, Carl van der Merwe – known as Carl Boplaas – was his nephew, and a poet in his own right who independently published several collections of poetry.


Embedded within the rich heritage of Boplaas, is the moral compass and shared beliefs that define and shape the Van der Merwe family. Core family values include honesty, respect, integrity, gratitude and perseverance. This commitment extends to the land which is cultivated while adhering to the principles of stewardship and sustainability, and with a view to innovate, renew and improve to ensure ongoing agricultural and economic viability for future generations.  

History and Family

Boplaas 1743 Estate – Pioneering South African fruit producers, pursuing responsible agriculture since 1743.