Klipopmekaar is farmed organically and is certified by ECOCERT SA to supply Europe (EU), Japan (JAS) & North America (NOP/USDA). Not only are we certified organic, but we’re also on the vanguard of organic farming techniques development… such as investigating new ways to organically cultivate Rooibos seedlings, and pioneering owl habitat projects.
All our organic rooibos is also certified by UTZ as ethically and sustainably produced. UTZ and Rainforest Alliance are building a future in which nature is protected and biodiversity flourishes; where farmers, workers, and communities prosper; and where sustainable land use and responsible business practices are the norm. In 2020 we expect our UTZ certification will be transitioned into Rainforest Alliance certification.
Klipopmekaar’s owner, Richard Bowsher, served voluntarily on the Right Rooibos (formerly Rooibos Biodiversity Initiative) industry steering committee for a few years. Right Rooibos is an industry conceived social, biodiversity, environmental and farming methods standard developed by the South African Rooibos Council. This best practices accreditation aims to improve farming, environmental and social practices of Rooibos producers throughout the industry.
Wherever possible renewable energy is used at Klipopmekaar. Most water used on the farm is pumped using solar energy and most cleaning water is heated using solar energy. The main farm house is entirely solar powered and off the electrical grid.
All the farm’s homes and buildings have been designed in a thermally intelligent manner to minimize heat transfer and maximize the living and working comfort of valued workers. Low energy light bulbs (CFL’s and LED’s) are fitted throughout the farm. Composting toilets and low water volume flush toilets are fitted throughout the farm.
Klipopmekaar practices conservation tillage, which means that the soil structure of its fields are carefully preserved as long term soil health for future generations is critical. Conventional plowing destroys soil structure and soil ecosystem integrity. When preparing our fields for cultivation, they are ripped with advanced custom developed tine implements which don’t overturn the soil but rather create deep un-invasive furrows in which Rooibos seedlings can take root.
Veld strips of between 10m-15m are either left untouched or are cultivated within all our fields at 40m-50m intervals. These fynbos strips create natural corridors for species migration, biodiversity preservation, wind erosion prevention and natural protection of the cultivated Rooibos.
Organic vegetables are produced all year-round in our vegetable gardens. The vegetables are provided weekly to farm management, farm workers and private guests. Our favorite crops at the moment include coriander, carrots, radishes and snap peas.
All farm waste and trash is recycled as much as possible. Cans, glass, and paper are regularly collected and transported to recycling depots. And scrap steel is often used to create art installations on the farm.