Eastern Cape female farmer named as Job Creator of the Year 2012
Madelé Ferreira of Mooihoek Boerdery has been named the 2012 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® Job Creator of the Year. Awarded for her incredible ability to adapt and effectively thrive in a previously unfamiliar industry, Madelé’s business has grown from a few hundred plants in 1998 to a multi-million rand farming enterprise today.
The business was started on a small scale when Madelé initially began farming on land that she leased from her husband. Today, the business produces spinach, leeks and strawberries on a 40 ha farm in the Gamtoos Valley in the Eastern Cape and supplies the distribution centres of three of South Africa’s leading chain store groups, namely Spar, Pick ‘n Pay and Shoprite / Checkers / Freshmark. Madelé currently employs 90 employees at Mooihoek Boerdery.
The farm also currently delivers strawberries to chain stores and markets in Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Port Elizabeth.
Madelé says that Mooihoek Boerdery started as a little girl’s dream of one day marrying a farmer and later evolved into a dream of empowering the working women on the farm. She says that building and maintaining relationships is one of the most important elements of her business as her suppliers, employees and clients are the lifeblood of the business.
She attributes her faith and determination to continually better her business brought her into contact with role players that enhanced, empowered and provided her with the necessary knowledge she needed in the fields of production methods, irrigation and good business practices.
According to Kobus Engelbrecht, a member of the 2012 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year ® judging panel, Madelé stood out amongst her competition because of the number of jobs she created in a rural area where unemployment is rife. “Not only did she create a sustainable business, but she also provides employment to people who otherwise would only have contributed towards the unemployment number.”