The majority of the baby vegetables that we export are grown on our very own Yukon Farm in Bothaville. Located in the Free State Province, the sandy loam soil, warm dry climate and a constant supply of river water are ideal for the production of excellent quality vegetables, all year round.
Established with only 6 hectares of land, our farming operations in Bothaville have grown substantially. Today, we farm across 356 hectares of land and our rotational system enables us to plant over 510 hectares of baby vegetables annually.
All the vegetables we grow at Bothaville, with the exception of baby leeks, are planted mechanically and irrigated under pivots. Every crop, however, is harvested by hand. This labour-intensive production provides jobs for 130 members of the community, and a further 220 employees work in the packhouse.
Employees are remunerated according to an incentive-based payment system, which enables them to potentially earn far more than the minimum agricultural wage.
We harvest between 4t and 6t of baby vegetables by hand every day and having a packhouse onsite means that the vegetables arrive in Europe and the UAE within 72 hours of being harvested.
Fundamental to this short lead time is our quality control. On arrival at the packhouse, the vegetables pass through a hydro cooler, which cools them down rapidly. They are then washed and prepared for packaging. Once packaged, they enter a forced air cooling unit, where the temperature is further reduced. From here we monitor temperatures at every stage to prevent any break in the cold chain which would be detrimental to quality.