Achtertuin was established in 1917 and has been farmed by the Versfeld family since then. The farm is situated in the Ceres region. Achtertuin is passionate about sustainability and have implemented biological practices for the past 25 years.
The Confronting Climate Change Initiative has allowed us to quantify our carbon footprint and help highlight where we need to focus our time and money to achieve the biggest improvements – Achtertuin
To reduce energy use, Achtertuin has retrofitted VSD starters to all pumps and installed grid tied solar panels that generate 15% of annual irrigation demand. Achtertuin’s biological approach to farming has increased soil carbon significantly. Natural predators control mites and mealybugs, and mating disruption controls codling moth. All invasive alien vegetation has been removed from the farm and a yearly program is followed to remain free of aliens. Achtertuin is also in the process of trying to establish a riverine forest of natural trees, as well as implement annual trips into the adjacent mountain to remove pines and hakea from the mountain slopes above the farm.
All Achtertuin’s irrigation pumps use VSDs to optimise efficiency and the farm has installed 45kW of solar PV to reduce grid demand.
Achtertuin’s integrated pest management practices mean less spraying, less pesticide use, and as a result less diesel use. Their tractors and spray pumps are chosen on the basis of efficiency.
Achtertuin is decreasing its synthetic N usage and monitoring the impact of this. K2SO4 and soft rock phosphate are used as sustainable sources of K and P for the soil.
Achtertuin promotes recycling with multiple household bins, while all on-farm waste is collected at a central point. General and recyclable waste are separated using a skip and containers.
Achtertuin encourages weed growth on the bankie and all prunings are chipped onto the bankie to create a favourable environment for soil life.
Achtertuin uses natural predators for pest control, while invasive alien vegetation is removed on an annual basis. The farm is also in the process of establishing a riverine natural tree forest.
Through this digital recognition platform, we celebrate the Carbon Heroes taking part in the Confronting Climate Change (CCC) Initiative for their considerable effort in calculating and understanding their carbon emissions.
Each Carbon Hero has their own digital QR code that can be displayed on their website and other marketing material, linking directly to their individual profile on the Carbon Heroes website.
The QR code provides a simple and innovative way for customers to learn about each Carbon Hero’s carbon offsetting and other sustainability initiatives, as well as engage with them on social media and other marketing channels.
With the Carbon Heroes QR code we aim to support a global transition towards sustainable development by recognising and celebrating the positive environmental impact of each Carbon Hero. By having a transparent display of their commitment to reducing emissions, Carbon Heroes demonstrate their dedication to a sustainable future, while building trust in their brand.
Carbon Heroes is a recognition platform built on the ethos of transparency and trust. While only emissions datasets graded by Blue North qualify for the platform, we do not independently verify all the information our Heroes choose to post. By signing up to the platform each Carbon Hero acknowledges that they are responsible for the information they share and that, by sharing their sustainability credentials, their information is in the public domain and open to be scrutinised. We welcome such scrutiny. We have a clear set of guidelines for the use of the platform and the qualification for the various digital labels, and reserve the right to revoke the use of the platform where it is found these guidelines are not being followed and/or the information posted is misaligned with the stated ethos. Thank you for helping us maintain the integrity of the Carbon Heroes platform and our efforts to promote greater transparency and sustainability.