Reasons to buy

from us

five reasons

to choose us as your fruit supplier

Ten generations’ experience in agriculture

Anchored in firm personal and family values

Committed to sustainable agriculture

Driving growth through innovation

A focus on quality and competitiveness

  1. Ten generations’ experience in agriculture

The farm Boplaas – originally referred to as Modderasvallei – was granted to Izaak Wilhelmus van der Merwe in 1743 as a livestock grazing farm. The ownership of the farm has remained within the Van der Merwe family ever since, with descendants transitioning from livestock farming to wheat cultivation and, in more recent years, the production of apples and pears.

The farm holds the distinction of being the oldest family owned business in South Africa, accumulating extensive agricultural expertise over ten generations and nearly three hundred years. With the dedication of Schalk van der Merwe – the current custodian and the tenth-generation cultivator – and the hands-on involvement of his father Fanie and siblings Carl, Daniel and Frans in the broader Boplaas 1743 Estate group of companies, procurement agents and fruit purchasers can be confident that they will only receive top-quality produce from this family enterprise.  

2. Anchored in firm personal and family values

The business of Boplaas 1743 is firmly based on the fundamental personal and Van der Merwe family values of integrity, honesty, dependability, trustworthiness, respect, and fairness. These principles, furthermore, align with the broader vision of the family business, namely, to live honestly and respectfully as God’s grateful stewards of the land; to anchor a sustainable business for future generations by creating a balanced and shared vision between business and family values; to cultivate and deliver world-class products and services in harmony with nature; to embrace innovation and technology to responsibly ensure ongoing improvement and growth; and to foster a culture of caring and support for employees, their families, and the greater community in the areas where the business is situated.

This ethos, in harmony with the natural environment in which Boplaas 1743 Estate as producer and provider is rooted, offers more than just principles to those who engage with the group. It embodies a lifestyle that maintains a balance with nature and humanity as it was intended to be from the outset, and a stewardship based upon the family’s philosophy of “what you inherit from your father, you borrow from your children”.

3. Committed to sustainable agriculture

The generations that cultivated Boplaas, over time, faced the need to change the agricultural products they produced and adapt their farming practices to meet the growing demand for increased agricultural output. These generations also recognised the importance of respecting the soil’s capacity, and to sustain an equilibrium between production and the long-term health of the farm. This practical experience gained on Boplaas shaped a sensitivity towards the land and created a focus on responsible farming practices – also on the other Boplaas 1743 Estate farms – to ensure sustainability. Current tangible examples of this mindset include the following: Full-time employment of an environmental specialist; generating and utilising renewable energy on a large scale; an ongoing programme to measure and reduce the group’s carbon footprint; eco-friendly pest and weed control; rainwater harvesting and gravity flow irrigation, where possible; replacing sprinkler irrigation with water-saving drip irrigation; and restoring natural vegetation in areas with invasive plants.

Against this background and operating with this mindset, Boplaas has consistently managed its operations responsibly. This commitment ensured ecological soundness and allowed for passing down the farm from one generation to the next in a condition that promoted continued prosperity. Until today, this ethos remains and, furthermore, extends to the broader Boplaas 1743 Estate business entities, guiding all strategic and operational decisions and activities.

4. Driving growth through innovation

Those at Boplaas 1743 Estate are deeply aware of the effect that the constantly changing global and local landscape has on agriculture, and the impact it has on many aspects related to farming. To stay ahead, the group ensures that it remains informed of trends that could influence their agribusiness, and keep up with the latest industry innovations and technology crucial for sustained economic viability.

Their approach involves a long-term perspective and strategic planning with an analytical and practical mindset to ensure future growth. Notable recent achievements include the following: Acquiring additional land in other agricultural regions to diversify; relocating the Boplaas 1743 Estate head office to a strategically advantageous agricultural and economic hub near Cape Town; implementing South Africa’s first floating photovoltaic (PV) plant to harness solar energy without taking up valuable farming land; buying and automating a citrus and stone fruit packing and cooling facility to enhance productivity in the group’s own fruit packing operation, as well as in contract packing services offered to the broader fruit industry; and being the first in South Africa to establish a cutting-edge cannabis production facility for the medical and pharmaceutical sectors.

5. A focus on quality and competitiveness

Buyers and consumers of Boplaas 1743 Estate fruit can expect to receive high-quality, flavourful produce owing to the climate at the Boplaas 1743 Estate farming units being well-suited for cultivating superior fruit. The group’s dedication to transparent farming practices, furthermore, ensures that those who procure their fruit, can trust their adherence to ethical standards in the preparation of produce for the market. In this regard Boplaas 1743 Estate is affiliated with Fruit South Africa, an umbrella body for the South African fruit industry which strives for a competitive, equitable and sustainable South African fruit industry; the South African Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB), an independent service provider of quality certification and cold chain management services for producers and exporters of perishable food products; Hortgro Pome, an association that promotes and protects the interests of the apple and pear growers of South Africa; and Agri Western Cape, a members’ organisation representing commercial agriculture producers in the Western Cape.

Additionally, the group is a member of GlobalGAP, a farm certification scheme that promotes good agricultural practices and the production of primary products in a safe manner, while taking into account worker welfare and health; the Sustainability Initiative of South Africa (SIZA), which provides a platform for agricultural stakeholders to ensure ethical and environmentally sustainable trade; SIZA Environmental Assurance, a model that has been designed to assist growers in evaluating their current compliance and environmental risks, both at farm and regional or catchment level; and SIZA CARES, a programme with a drive towards continuous improvement and the management of environmental risks within the agricultural sector.

These affiliations guide Boplaas 1743 Estate in upholding stringent standards in the quality of its produce, and ensure that its fruit meet with international trade requirements.