The owners have followed a ‘tread lightly’ approach to farming and from this has flowed their Tread Lightly by Backsberg product range. The commitment was started off with the necessary surveys of the status of the farm in terms of climate, biodiversity, health of the environment generally and setting in place directives to improve the farm.
Environment Management Plan:
Commissioned in 2006 it analysed all aspects of the farming business and identified ways in which this can be improved, and initiated the way forward to improve the natural environment.
Part of the way forward was to obtain the necessary accreditation. Biodiversity in Wine Initiative, BWI, for adopting biodiversity best practice. And Integrated Production of Wine, IPW, status
Biochar experiment, tree planting and carbon offset:
Biochar is charcoal manufactured to standard where it is suitable as a soil additive. The advantage of the addition of biochar to the soils is that it increases the water holding capacity of the soil and any fertilizer that you may add is subject to significantly less leaching from the soil due to the adsorption of the elements to the surface of the biochar particles. Backsberg is leading the way in experimenting to improve local soil conditions.
Tree planting is part of a package of solutions to climate change and is currently either applying or reviewing a number of these solutions. We employ an environmentalist and a horticulturist. The “Green Team” is helping to create a paradigm shift of care for the environment.
Carbon offset sequestration solutions developed will involve a greening program within the nearby village of Klapmuts. This program will be managed by the internationally respected Jeunesse Park, CEO of Food and Trees for Africa, the nonprofit national greening organisation driving the Carbon Standard offset program in South Africa. This collaboration will see Backsberg use the Food and Trees for Africa Carbon Standard logo.