A Little Bit About Mont Rouge Olive Estate
The Mont Rouge Olive Estate nestles in the Groot River basin which flows through the farm en route to Gouritzmond. At an elevation of approximately 250 meters above sea level, in limy soils, this makes for perfect Mediteranean terroir for olive cultivation. Our orchards consist of Mission, Frantoio, Kalamata, Lecino, Coratina and Nocellara cultivars. Our olives are handpicked at optimal ripeness and the oil extracted cold to achieve extra virgin quality. Our table olives undergo a process of slow fermentation of 12-14 months. Whence bottled you can be assured of a product that has been preserved by limestone filtered mountain water, and salt of the earth – only.
Our Commitment to Excellence
We became a member of the SA Olive Industry Association in order to ensure that we adhere to their quality standards. The following requirements have been met – guaranteed 100% South African product, year of harvest is displayed on the bottle, adherence to the SA Code of Conduct and Practice for production and labelling and assurance that high quality standards are met with the label accurately reflecting its content.
Corporate Social Responsibility
The Mont Rouge Olive Estate is a wholly owned subsidiary of Assegaay Bosch Ranch (Pty) Ltd which also operates other employment generating rural enterprises in and around Vanwyksdorp. The Estate is situated 12kms East of the village of Vanwyksdorp on route R1661 to Calitzdorp – in the heart of the Little Karoo. The farm was previously operated as a mechanised lucerne farm but we took the leap of faith in 2006 to slowly convert from lucerne to olives. Unemployment in the district of Vanwyksdorp is of the highest in the country and in an effort to alleviate this problem as well as the abject poverty that goes with it we thought the switch to olives be a wise one as it is probably the most labour intensive of all fruit farming enterprises.
The Assegaay Social Investment Initiative (ASII)
The Assegaay Social Investment Initiative is a three-way innovation in land reform for long term development of rural communities and the environment in South Africa. First, by matching private and public finance for social and economic goals with shares in existing rural enterprises, ASII ensures sustainable improvements in the well-being of previously disadvantaged people. In addition, by integrating new employment opportunities with diverse ecological programmes, ASII will productively contribute to the rehabilitation of natural resources and enhanced resilience. And, by attracting investment to rural locations with limited agricultural potential, ASII diversifies land use and livelihood options.
With the intent to attract capital benefitting many future generations, the realisation of combined economic, social and ecological gains is made possible by Pieter Coetzee’s unique philanthropic vision. He is the founder and owner of Assegaay Bosch Ranch Pty Ltd which operates employment-generating rural enterprises in and around Vanwyksdorp in the Western Cape (www.assegaay.com). A personal commitment is to allocate shares in his business to two non-profit companies (NPCs) - The Vanwyksdorp Institute and the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve – whose rights value will be equivalent to external contributions secured by ASII.
The envisaged end scenario is one where the majority of shares in Assegaay Bosch Ranch (Pty) Ltd are owned by these two entities, which are themselves governed by people of the area.
Income derived from these shares will be used to finance social, ecological and associated initiatives of these two non-profit companies in an area of the Western Cape recognised by UNESCO for its global biodiversity significance. UNESCO status brings a responsibility to demonstrate inspiring ways for people and planet to sustain each other. As a signature response to this challenge, the initiatives supported by ASII through the two NPCs will have a dual focus. Alongside imaginative programmes that promote resilient working landscapes in the larger Gouritz Biosphere area, work will be directed at upliftment of the present and future population of Vanwyksdorp District in the heart of the Little Karoo.
ASII is an invitation to make an inspired social investment. Doing so will support a remedy to South Africa’s legacy of discriminatory ownership of productive assets. It offers a unique opportunity for individuals, firms, philanthropies, foundations and public bodies to demonstrate an enduring, self-sustaining approach to empowerment and equitable development by supporting a creative model of philanthropy and social venturing worthy of emulation.