The culture of growth is central to The Karsten Group’s philosophy, and new opportunities to increase production in the pome and stone fruit sector is a priority. The production potential and fruit basket of the historical Lourensford Estate near Somerset West was recognised as a prime new opportunity. Karsten Western Cape’s involvement started with the establishment of a joint venture between Karsten Western Cape and Lourensford Holdings in 2010.
Lourensford is an early pear producer and, together with the production of plums and apples, contributed to the expansion of the marketing strategy. This joint venture has the potential to increase the current production from 195 ha to more than 300 ha of apples, pears and plums. Recently 17 ha of proteas, one of South-Africa’s well-known Fynbos flowers, were planted, enhancing the business opportunities of the Estate.
Additionally 98 ha of wine grapes are produced on the Estate. The main varieties include Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz.
Lourensford has its own pack house where apples, pears and plums are packed on-site. Involvement in pome and stone fruit production at both Ceres and Somerset West has added more options to the marketing division, New Vision. It also lengthens the season and reduces the risk of production because it is now spread over a wider geographical area.