Located at the foot of the Magalies mountains, the Janse van Rensburg family farm has been a feature of the North West landscape since 1942. Today, the Langplaas brand enjoys a reputation as one of South Africa’s pioneering agri businesses, recognised across the world for quality produce.
‘We’re delighted to be creating a partnership with Langplaas and that this innovative operation has chosen to partner with us. It’s an honour for RSA Group,’ says Jaco Oosthuizen, RSA Group CEO. ‘I believe both organisations have shared values with respect to the importance family and a sense of community and stewardship, and that this bodes well for the relationship.’
Langplaas focuses on four key fresh produce lines: butternut, sweet potato, carrots and beetroot. These lines are all grown under the farm’s Zero Label classification. All Langplaas crops are tested for Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) in the two weeks before harvesting, and reliably return zero levels.
‘It’s exciting to be working with an innovative and professional market agent that operates in line with our core values as a family farm,’ says Gert Janse van Rensburg, who owns and manages Langplaas together with his twin brother, Peet. ‘We’re really looking forward to the synergies and collaboration of using a single agent across the country. Achieving strong brand exposure on fresh produce markets has long been a dream for Langplaas, and now it’s becoming a reality.’
Langplaas’ Zero Label classification was established after nearly a decade of experimentation with regenerative agricultural principles. In fact, the business only decided at the end of 2019 that it was finally comfortable to claim Zero Pesticide Residue on its produce, after several successful years of testing. Establishing rotation cycles between products, planting cover crops and balancing the biological life in Langplaas soil have been key components of the farm’s chemical free drive, which has proved increasingly attractive to consumers.
‘Our value proposition is very strong,’ explains Janse van Rensburg. ‘Langplaas products are not only chemical free, they’re also mineral dense, which gives them a better taste, look and shelf life. Consumers seek them out for these reasons.’
Langplaas’ commitment to its Zero Label has also laid the groundwork for additional business lines, including a coffee roastery, Tall Pete (Lang Piet), and a separate Langplaas Organics business, which provides all the knowledge, tools and products necessary for other farmers to follow in Langplaas’ footsteps to establish a more sustainable structure. The farm is also notable for its experimental mindset when it comes to testing new varieties. For example, it currently has over forty varieties of Sweet Potato planted, each of which is being evaluated each in terms of yield, disease resistance, shape, taste and storage ability.
‘Innovation isn’t just about smart thinking. It’s also very strongly linked to a company’s people and their values – the way they interact with others,’ concludes RSA Group’s Oosthuizen. ‘Langplaas ticks all the boxes across these dimensions, and it shows clearly in their quality produce and the respect they command in the industry. I think together our two organisations have the capacity to add a lot of value to the South African fresh produce sector.’