– Nearly 100 Years of History –
An Advanced Approach to Sustainable Farming
Located in Harrismith, set amongst the rolling hills of the Eastern Free State, is the Fyvie Farming agribusiness. We are a family-run business, which was established in 1940 by Charles Clive Fyvie. Traditionally, the farming business was made up of cattle, sheep, potatoes, and maize.
Neil and Pam Fyvie took over the agribusiness in 1991 and, through dynamic, forward-thinking innovation, transformed Fyvie Farming into a family concern, which produces and packs apples and berries, breeds Bovelder cattle for beef production, and implements methods leading to improved cropping efficiency on maize, soya beans, and wheat. Every element of Fyvie Farming’s operations are produced through passion and a drive for a superior-quality product.
All our departments are run with the utmost precision. Fyvie Farming believes, if you can measure it, you can manage it. This means using Beefpro and DNA testing with livestock. In the field, we use GPS-navigated tractors for precise and variable fertilisation, liming, spraying, and planting of all crops, as well as probes monitoring water application periods in orchards.
Fyvie Farming has a strong and stable management team with a long-term vision. This keeps our group innovative and adaptable in order to continue offering produce at the highest possible quality with the most efficient production methods.
A Family of Farmers
Neil went to Hilton College and came to run the family farm after his father, Gavin, unexpectedly passed away at a young age. He met his wife, Pam, and got married in 1990. Together, they grew the business, starting to plant berries in 1995 and apples in 1996. They put up the apple packshed and started the framework for the Fyvie Farming as it is today.
Pam Fyvie (Née Moor)
Pam grew up on a family farm in Estcourt and graduated from the University of Natal with a BSc degree. After her marriage in 1990, she moved to Harrismith and ran the berries, the books, and the apple packshed – including all the audits. Pam has since taken over the Bovelder Cattle department. Her formidable approach to farming and her successes earned her the Department of Agriculture’s National Female Entrepreneur Awards in 2011/2012.
Kerryn grew up on the farm in Harrismith. She went to St Anne’s College, graduated from Elsenburg with a B.Agri degree in Pomology, and started working full time at Fyvie Farming in 2013. She started with the berries and sheep – and was the apple packshed /orchard assistant. Kerryn now runs the apple packshed, audits, and, when it is not picking season, assists in the apple orchards.
Lauren also grew up on the farm in Harrismith. She went to St Anne’s College and went on to graduate from the University of Pretoria with a degree in Speech Therapy. She joined the farm full time in 2017. Lauren runs the berries and assists in the packshed with quality control and labour management.
Dandre grew up in Bethlehem in the Eastern Free State. He went to Witteberg and started his farming career straight away. He never doubted that he was going to be a farmer and joined Fyvie Farming in 2009. He runs the entire cropping department, transport, and manages general farm requirements.
Socially and Environmentally Sustainable
At Fyvie Farming, we know that the farming practices of today will come to shape agriculture of the future. We adhere to the highest standards of sustainability within the industry, with an aim to encourage continuous improvement in practices over time.
In keeping with this ethos, we are SIZA (Sustainability Initiative of South Africa) accredited, with this body providing a platform for agricultural stakeholders to ensure ethical and environmentally sustainable trade. SIZA monitors care for the environment and compliance with labour legislation. We engage with stakeholders throughout the value chain to manage risks and identify needs and issues, with interventions and support tools created by measuring member compliance over time.
In addition to our conservation agricultural approach and environmental conscientiousness, we have social initiatives on the go with the aim of community upliftment, morale, and boosted workplace pride. Fyvie Farming sponsors two local soccer teams, which have given workers an invaluable outlet while garnering a spirit of teamwork. We provide teams with uniforms, balls, transport for matches, and manage upkeep of our farm soccer field.
Our day care, established in 2012, cares for 20 children in a stimulating environment. At the same time, it helps women go to work each day, as we provide specific jobs that women, in particular, will be headhunted for or hired for. This has created a self-sufficient female workforce and forms part of our commitment to the development of women in agriculture, giving them peace of mind that their children are safe and taken care of during their work days. We have also become a hub of learning for workers on things like HIV/AIDS awareness, first aid, and health and safety.