Skip to main content

INTRODUCING ERIC BROWN

Eric grew up on their family farm in the Karoo and is maried to Lizelle, with their four children. His whole life was focused in preparing him to farm in the Karoo, matriculating from Boland Agricultural High School and graduating  from Elsenburg Agricultural College, Stellenbosch, with majors in  Viticulture, Pomology, Vegetable Production and Livestock farming. 

He is an enthusiastic sportsman who played rugby for Maties (University of Stellenbosch), Hartpury College in the U.K., and Sevens Rugby for Melrose, Scotland.

Above all, Eric has an unquenchable passion for the Karoo.

Eric  learned very quicly though that life in the Karoo is tough, and in his own words: 'I lived through many highs, but also went through testing waters - like losing my farm"

ERIC BROWN

OVERCOMING LIFE'S CHALLENGES

Eric has not shied away from the numerous challenges that came his way. 

Today he stands proud as a pioneering Saffron producer in South Africa as well as one of  the larger Brassica producers in the Western Cape.

Farming in the harsh Karoo has its own challenges where climatic risks can easily lead to crop failures.

 

"When everything is snatched away from you, only faith, hope and plans remain, but I believe new opportunities are born when some things go to waste."


OUR NEW FOCUS:
KAROOFRESH

Eric faced some challenging times and had to start afresh a few years ago. With sheer determination and willpower he embarked on a journey seeking new farmland. He had a sound knowledge of Brassica cultivation but knew he had to find a niche product with high value that would perform well in these harsh climatic conditions. He contacted an acquaintance in the Boland, Anton van Zyl from ViribusConsult. Anton suggested that he looks closer at cultivating Saffron and introduced him to Bennie Engelbrecht, the Managing Director of Saffricon. Saffricon is a pioneer for Saffron production in South Africa.


THE KAROOFRESH APPROACH

Eric had previously looked at Saffron and he immediately recognised its potential. He is convinced that Saffron (Crocus sativus) can provide a solution for many Karoo farmers, as the harsh climate of the Karoo is exactly the conditions requiered for Saffron.

 

 

"If good quality saffron is produced, it offers excellent possibilities as a high-value crop.”

Meanwhile he found Elandsfontein farm, located southwest of Laingsburg in the Karoo and established KAROOFRESH in 2019.

Today Eric's hopes are restored and his furute looks bright. He has established himself as a producer of Saffron, a range of of Brassiccas, Butternuts, and livestock.

All his produce is sold directely to retail or high-end markets.

Eric was also recently approached by one of the leading high-end retail groups for whom he already delivers Brassica and Butternut to also grow Asparagus.

KAROOFRESH supplies employment for 60 people, including seasonal workers whose tasks include soil preparation and harvesting of the vegetables and Saffron.

ERIC BROWN

DOHNE MERINO GRAZING ON POST-HARVEST VEGETATION


"If good quality saffron is produced, it offers excellent possibilities as a high-value crop.”