Short History

Berghoff was purchased by Denis and Aleysia Shaw in 1959.  At that time the top of Porterville mountain was practically undeveloped and in comparison to prominent agricultural areas in the Western Cape, like Grabouw, it was downright primitive.  Hard work, commitment and a love for the land led to gradual development of the farm into a very good mixed fruit and fynbos farm, with the odd herd of Angora goats and tobacco plantations in between.  Despite the bad condition of Dasklip Pass (which was only recently tarred), Berghoff consistently delivered high quality pome and stone fruit to the then sole deciduous fruit exporter, Unifruco, and a number of quality merit awards made their way back to the Berghoff pack shed.  Simultaneously, the fynbos business was evolving from the initially veld-picked flowers to cultivated plantations.  Berghoff’s flagship product, the Queen protea (Protea magnifica, known as Barbigera or Barbi in the trade) became well known and sought-after in the Dutch markets, and this stimulated further plantings.  The glut of deciduous fruit from the mid-1990’s, coupled with the realisation that the conditions on Porterville mountain were marginal in comparison to other areas like Ceres Koue-Bokkeveld and Grabouw/Vyeboom/Villiersdorp diverted Berghoff’s focus away from fruit and intensified the efforts in the expansion of the fynbos production which is our natural advantage.



About our Farm

Today Berghoff has about 55 hectares of fynbos plantations, a very active nursery and a strong involvement in the marketing of the products. New plantations are established annually, and the product range has been appreciably diversified without losing the emphasis on Barbigera.  The acquisition of Osdam, a neighbouring farm, has added about 16 hectares of production to the export basket, and has lengthened our season somewhat as it delivers earlier flowers.  The export leg has been strengthened significantly by establishment of a logistics company (Proteus Logistics) in 2009, together with two other producers, and by dealing more directly with the Dutch importers.  South African-based export agents purchase about 10-15% of the export crop at fixed prices.

The farm is about 380 hectares in size, of which a total of about 75 hectares are deemed suitable for intensive fynbos production.  Berghoff is blessed with abundant water and natural beauty, which has been shared with many visitors through the Berghoff Mountain Top Chalets.  At an altitude of between 850 and 1000 meters above sea level the farm has a relatively cool Mediterranean climate, with an average of more than 1400 mm of rainfall per year.  Snow in winter is not uncommon.  The soils are generally sandy, being derived largely from weathered sandstone. A shale ridge adds some localised variability.

In keeping with changing times and needs, the land was sold into a Trust in 2007, with the farming enterprise, Berghoff Boerdery, leasing the land.  One of the Shaws’ sons-in-law, Marius Huysamer, and his wife Margot, are continuing the further development of the farm in collaboration with the Shaws who are scaling down their involvement to an advisory role.  With a proud history as foundation, an enviable reputation in the international markets, and some exciting new developments, the future looks bright for Berghoff.

 

Contacts

Office landline: +27-22-931-2937

Fax: +27-86-517-7693 (fax-to-e-mail) OR +27-22-931-3143

Marius Huysamer: marius@berghoff-fynbos.co.za   Cell: +27-82-462-1012

Margot Huysamer (Admin): margot@berghoff-fynbos.co.za  Cell +27-83-954-5276

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