Meet the farmers: Mouton Citrus, South Africa

Mouton Citrus is a family owned business, and one of South Africa’s leading grower-exporters of quality citrus and Rooibos tea. The farm is located in Citrusdal, in the Olifants River Valley in the Western Cape province, at the base of the Cederberg Mountains and about 160 kilometres (100 mi) north of Cape Town.

Mouton Citrus has around 600 hectares of land dedicated to cultivating rooibos, a crop that is unique to South Africa. All of the rooibos produced at the farm is eventually processed for the Carmien brand. The farm has been UTZ Certified since 2011. 1482 people (employees and their families) depend on the farm for their livelihoods.

“Everyone here has great respect for the UTZ logo … it is nice for us to be part of UTZ and to be able to explain to the workers that this is an organization that we have chosen to walk this path with.” Johannes Phielander, Team Leader and Driver.

 

 

“UTZ requires more hygiene training during induction training. Before we only did induction training for Citrus workers, but after UTZ certification we do induction training for Rooibos workers as well, concentrating on harvesting procedures. UTZ is also focussed on PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and therefore we have provided our seasonal workers with a second set of PPE clothing.” Madelé Mouton, Owner/Manager.

Anne-Marie Booise“Anne-Marie Booise started out as a general worker on the Mouton Citrus farms. By showing exceptional leadership ability she quickly moved through the ranks to become a team leader during harvesting time. Her team consistently is one of the top 5 teams from the 40 teams at Mouton Citrus when it comes to performance. Furthermore she is constantly chosen among her peers to represent them on worker committees at one time having had the role of worker committee chairman. Apart from leadership she has also shown great comprehension for the technical side of farming. There she excelled in her role as pest monitor and in 2015 she was appointed the first ever irrigation operator of Mouton Citrus. Typically a position dominated by men in South African agriculture. She will take full responsibility for a new development with state of the art drip irrigation technology. This position requires a good understanding of irrigation principles and be adept with a computer. Anne-Marie has also had greater access to training opportunities due to the emphasis UTZ certification places on this. She is also a mother and wife and constantly takes up the plight of her larger community of farm workers. We are very proud of Anne-Marie!”

Find out more about Mouton Citrus and other members of the UTZ Certified rooibos program in a recently published research study. 

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