The Citrusdal valley sends many of its natural gifts of citrus and rooibos far and wide across the country and the globe every year. As a result of this we are able to give back to the local community – but only with the assistance of you, our partners that have the heart to be involved.
On Friday 5 May The Mouton Foundation hosted funders, employees and suppliers to toast the official opening of the De Meul Community Centre. This is the fourth, and largest, multi-purpose community centre to be built by the Mouton Foundation in the Citrusdal valley.
Decades of commitment to community betterment and employee empowerment recently culminated in this celebratory event. Carmién Tea, together with our partner organisation Mouton Citrus, opened this impressive new community centre through our social upliftment arm, The Mouton Foundation.
The launch of this world-class community centre was combined with the ten-year anniversary of the formalisation of The Mouton Foundation, and a celebration of everything that this ground-breaking foundation has achieved in this time. Apart from celebrating with the partners of the Mouton Foundation, the event was a way to show our thanks to our employees who trust us with their elderly parents, their children, their health, their education, and their futures. This is not a responsibility that we take lightly.
Mouton Foundation initiatives – made possible through our partners
The Mouton Foundation is funded through the sales of rooibos produced on the Mouton Farms, which is sold through Carmién Tea. Special retailer and exporter programs allow Carmien Tea to earn a premium of anything between 3% and 15% which goes back into the Mouton Foundation. Likewise, a percentage of the sales of citrus through Mouton Citrus go towards the Foundation. We also contribute own company funds to match 25% of the contribution made via consumers.
The foundation has established, and currently oversees:
- Four multi-purpose community centres. These are Brakfontein, Tienrivieren, Kweekkraal and now the most recent, De Meul. (These community centres house the below mentioned Early Childhood Development Centres, health clinics, after school clubs, and sports facilities. As well as providing venues for the community to hold events, meetings, weddings etc.)
- Three fully equipped Early Childhood Development Centres run by the Pebbles Project – the official education partner to the Mouton Foundation (www.pebblesproject.co.za) – which is currently educating 80 children up to the age of five;
- A mobile library and learning centre. This travels out to the more remote farm centrers, delivering books, videos, educational toys and games to the children;
- Three after school clubs which care for 170 children every day after school whilst their parents are at work. The children also receive a meal and academic intervention as well as fun arts and crafts activities and sports;
- Tertiary study bursaries for employees’ children, with 20 students currently enrolled for a variety of courses;
- A full-time nurse and a mobile health service which visits all the employees on the farms. The Mouton Foundation nurse practitioner sees approximately 3000 people a year;
- Holiday programmes for all the farm children which takes them on outings and educational excursions;
- Three youth groups;
- An Elderly Club – which offers crafts and motivational talks to the farm’s senior citizens; and
- Sport fields and indoor netball court are provided for local rugby clubs, the soccer league, netball club and small farm schools that would otherwise not have access to these facilities. These institutions are further supported through donations from the Foundation.
The Mouton family’s passion for community upliftment goes back to 1985 when Mientjie Mouton, the founder of Carmién Tea, opened the first crèche on the Mouton family farm. Easing the challenges faced by working moms, caring for children and the elderly, and training and development of our employees are issues which have always been close to the hearts of the Mouton family.
Carmién Tea is committed to empowerment and upliftment
Carmién Tea, a Fairtrade accredited Rooibos manufacturer and exporter, was established in 1998 when Mientjie decided to explore the commercial potential of this unique crop which is only found in the Western Cape of South Africa. The organisation has moved from strength to strength and now distributes a wide range of innovative Rooibos tea varieties all over the world.
Carmién Tea is committed to empowerment, and aims to provide sustainable jobs and wealth creation for our farm workers. In light of this we pursued a partnership with Bergendal Farming Operations, which led to the establishment of a 50% worker owned business, Bergendal Rooibos Pty Ltd, on the farm where Mientjie Mouton was raised. This company, which created 96 new jobs, exclusively processes and packages Rooibos for Carmién Tea.
It is our responsibility as businesses in South Africa to give back to our communities and to create opportunities for the next generation. The Mouton Foundation initiatives would not be possible without the buy-in and support of stakeholders such as yourself and we wish to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing commitment to giving back to the communities who strive so hard to help us produce our premium rooibos products.
“We are proud of what we have achieved but our journey never stops and we have many more plans for the future of the Mouton Foundation – be the change that you want to see.” Mientjie Mouton.
Mouton Foundation facts – 10 years of influence
- R17 million contributed to community upliftment
- 900 children positively influenced
- 7 Students completed tertiary studies
- 21 Students currently studying with bursaries
- 330 permanent workers and 1500 seasonal workers positively impacted
- WATCH THIS VIDEO: https://youtu.be/bKfOVnzgfmg