BDAASA regards Demeter certification as the benchmark for biodynamic practice in Southern Africa and we encourage all farmers and horticultural practitioners interested in biodynamic agriculture to work towards obtaining Demeter certification. Demeter is the certification for biodynamic farming and food. Assessment is according to internationally agreed Demeter International Standards.
Steps to Demeter Certification:
1.- You must first have Organic certification.
2.- Contact Demeter for certification – visit: www.demeter.net
or contact email@example.com.
In South Africa we have 5 Demeter certified farms:
Bloublommetjieskloof Farm is a 38 hectare biodynamic farm in Wellington (Western Cape). Bloublommetjieskloof was the first biodynamic farm in South Africa with small production of vegetables and cheeses. Now the farm offers dairy products, fresh and preserved products as well as the Bloublommetjieskloof range of Demeter cleaning and body care products. The products are organic certified with Ceres and biodynamic with Demeter. School groups are accommodated as well, where children take part in farm life and learn about principles of biodynamic farming.
Elgin Ridge Wine Estate , Elgin
Producers of Biodynamic Wine, Elgin Ridge in Elgin (Western Cape) has 7 hectares of vineyards plus a further 13 hectares of pasture high in the Elgin valley in the Western Cape. The farm is certified Biodynamic with Demeter and certified organic with ECOCERT. They were certified Biodynamic in 2015 and have been organic for 7 years. The vineyards have not been sprayed with any chemical since they were planted over 10 years ago. Weeding each row of vines is done by hand or Maddox, a gentle Percheron stallion , who loves ploughing, while pest control is performed by ducks patrolling the vineyards. Other animals include a flock of Dorper sheep for 'mowing' between the vines and a herd of Dexter cows for producing the biodynamic 500 preparation and compost.
Reyneke Wines, Stellenbosch
Producers of Biodynamic wine and vegetables, Reyneke Wines in the Western Cape has a 40ha Demeter certified farm of which 27ha is under vine. The rest is under pasture, veggies and grains. They are currently converting 5 of their neighbours to organic and biodynamic which will put the total area under biodynamic practice close to 200ha.
Everything is certified by CERES to EU and NOP organic standards and DEMETER to biodynamic standards. The farm was started 17 years ago in the year 2000. They have a herd of 40 Nguni cattle, with plenty of ducks, chickens and other animals running around. The veggie patch has now grown to about 4ha in size and it is a combined initiative with the owners and the farm workers sharing in the proceeds. The farm has a strong educational aspect as well. This includes farm walks and lectures for students of viticulture, oenology, biodiversity, sustainability and also business management. The farm has three post graduate students from the University of Stellenbosch doing their studies on various aspects of the farm: microbiology, entomology, medicinal plants and herbs.
Waterkloof Wines, Somerset West
Producers of Biodynamic wine, Waterkloof Wines has 146 hectors of land in Somerset West in the Western Cape.
Their farm is certified Biodynamic by Demeter and certified organic by CERES (Certification of Environmental Standards GmbH) and have been Biodynamic for 12 years.
Waterkloof has a whole zoo working its vines and its green team includes Percheron horses that are used in place of tractors to plough, compost, spray and harvest. Cattle provide manure for biodynamic preparations and compost. Sheep graze in the vineyards, eating weeds and enriching the soil with nitrogen and potassium from their manure. Earthworms turn the soil and hens roam freely among the vines, eating vine weevils and laying fresh eggs for use in the estate's restaurant.
Cloud Valley Farm, Avontuur
Cloud Valley Farm,
Demeter in conversion
Producers of Biodynamic dairy and beef, Cloud Valley Farm has 800 hectares of land in Prince Alfred Pass in the Western Cape, 35ha of which are arable, but 9ha at present in use. Their farm is certified biodynamic by Demeter and certified organic by CERES. They have been using biodynamic farming methods for 16 years and have been certified since 2017. Organic and biodynamic farming methods have been used to enrich the pastures on which cattle, pigs, chickens, horses and bees feed.