Boplaas 1743, a farmyard named a South African National Monument, is the oldest family business in its country!

Founded in 1743 by Izak Wilhelmus van der Merwe, Boplaas 1743 is the oldest family business in South Africa. Located in the Western Cape Province in the heart of the Koue Bokkeveld mountain range, the van der Merwe family originally used their fertile land to graze their cattle. Today, the family draws its knowledge and know-how from an unbroken line of 10 generations of farmers. The family farm produces and packages a variety of fruits, including apples, citrus, peaches and pears. 30% of its production is also exported to the African continent. Designated a South African National Monument in 1973, the family business has preserved its original farmyard, the only one of its kind in the country. The van der Merwe’s historic property includes a water mill, soap factory, bakery, carriage house and the main house. While the van der Merwe’s have done a great job of preserving their heritage, they have also pursued creative and innovative activities over the years to ensure the continuity of their business. Over the past three decades, Boplaas 1743 has diversified through the acquisition of other farms and new businesses. On its property, which now covers 500 hectares, the family business offers services surrounding wedding planning, jewelry and hospitality, and more recently is interested in cannabis production, a new industry in South Africa. Also in 2019, the family-owned company, which now employs nearly 1,000 employees, committed to sustainable production by creating Africa’s first floating solar plant. Its various facilities run on 90 percent renewable solar energy. Here is another highlight: Boerneef and Carl Boplaas, two of South Africa’s most famous poets, are members of the van der Merwe family!

Read the article: ‘Boplaas 1743: The Long-lasting Success of Responsible Stewardship’

Discover the history of Boplaas 1743…