In October this year, Hannes van der Merwe from the farm Rietvlei received the Cecil Bergh Floating Trophy for the Rooibos Ltd Producer of the Year 2017. The HC Ginsberg Floating Trophy for the Top Rooibos Sample went to Buks Marais from Kleinvlei while the Clanwilliam Cooperative Tea Company Floating Trophy went to Rooibos Ltd’s Processing Yard and the Citrusdal Cooperative Drying Yards Floating Trophy went to Henk Bakker from Achterfontein. Deon Kotze from Grootfontein received the James W Van Putten Floating Trophy for the Seedling Grower of the Year.
The trophies were handed to the winners at the Rooibos Ltd Farmers’ Day held at the farm Rietvlei on 10 October 2017. This one-day event included presentations by Dr Eduard Hoffman from Stellenbosch University’s Department of Soil Science (Groundwater management during a time of drought), Dr Mike Ferreira from Elsenburg’s Department of Agriculture (Weed control through crop rotation), Mr Johan Habig from Agritechnovation Pty (Soil health) and Mr Dirk Bester from Villa Crop Protection (Pest and plague control). A chalk paint workshop was presented as part of the women’s programme.
Nominees for the Producer of the Year were judged on their production planning and administration, production efficiency, the overall condition of their plantations, and their contribution to enhanced production technology.