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Loxtonia Farm is a family owned farm, tucked away in the Ceres Valley and is home to families spanning 3 generations. Inclusively we employ 250 staff from over 25 families that live on the farm. We at Loxtonia are very conscious about the environment and we put sustainable practices at the forefront in all that we do. There is something very special about waking up to the sound of birds chirping, seeing the stars so clearly in the sky at night, drinking clear mountain water and smelling the fresh morning air.
The agricultural part of our business has been going for over 30 years, with the cider being the newest addition. Our fruit harvest starts in December and ends in June starting with nectarines and plums then pears and ending off with apples. We have 14 different plum varieties, 4 different pear varieties and 6 different apple varieties, making this over 24 fruit varieties in total. We export the majority of our fruit to supermarkets worldwide and produce some for local markets such as Pick n Pay and Checkers. 80% of all our fruit gets exported, which means that the pack store is in full operation from November –through to September.
We have actually taken some of our local market apples and used these to make our cider. In addition to this we also make use of the apples that have blemishes, which are not suitable for the local market thus increasing our food sustainability. All the fruit that falls off the trees (the windfall apples) are sent to the juice factories for juicing and are not used for our cider, as it is so important that when we press the apples for our cider that these are of good quality.
We have our own cooling facilities on the farm so the fruit comes straight out of the orchard and goes directly into cooling, and thereafter gets fitted into a very carefully thought out packing plan. Once the fruit makes its way through the pack store it gets inspected to make sure that all is in order. The export containers will then arrive on the farm and we will load the fruit from our cold rooms and these will make their way to the docks for export.
Our love for the farm and fruit has created the perfect platform for us to do what we love and love what we do. Loxtonia Cider our newest venture, has been a great one so far and we have certainly learnt a lot about the industry, its challenges and its achievements. We hope that you will follow us for more information on our Loxtonia cider venture.
For further press information and imagery, contact:
083 640 6166
Larry Whitfield bought the farm, Dwarsberg at the farmers auction in 2017 and empowered 10 of his long-time serving farm workers to become shareholders – each owning 10% of the farm. He formed a 100% black empowered 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 17.51 hectares of Stone fruit. Larry has planted 10 hectares of plums and will be following up with another 10 hectares in August 2020. This was all done with the help of PALS (Partners in Agri Land Solutions) and was led by Gerrit Van Vuuren.
For more information listen to the full interview.