Our sourcing philosophy is all about finding the best possible fruit and ingredients in the world and bringing them home to our valley.
This journey means that our ingredients and fruit come from some very interesting places. We go where the fruit grows best, and sometimes this means travelling a long way from home. We prefer to grow our fruit nearby, but some things just don’t grow in our beautiful valley or elsewhere in our country.

Here is an overview of the diverse places our fruit and nuts come from.

Our pears grow locally on Koelfontein and surrounding farms. We grow the best Bon Chretien pears in South Africa. They are tree-ripened to allow flavour and sweetness to develop to optimum levels.

Although peaches originated in China centuries ago, our Elberta peaches are now grown on Koelfontein itself and on surrounding farms in the Warm Bokkeveld as well as in the Klein Karoo, Breede River Valley and Citrusdal areas.

The nectarines in our products are all tree-ripened until soft. They are grown in a broad sweeping area extending from the farms around Prince Alfred’s Hamlet, through Citrusdal and as far away as the Klein Karoo. The interesting thing about nectarines is actually not where it is grown, but the specialness of the cultivar itself.  Colorbust™ is a range of nectarine varieties that was bred by the Agricultural Research Board’s Infruitec institute in Stellenbosch specifically for its unique sun-drying attributes. Its skin and flesh has a distinctive bright , light-orange colour that it retains very well after drying and great sweet-sour balance and soft texture that gives it superb eating quality.

We have always had prunes here on Koelfontein, but over the years the prune trees started making way for other fruit. The oldest orchard on the farm actually is a D’Agen prune orchard. We believe that it is almost 100 years old. Most of our prunes come from Chile these days though. Chile has been producing prunes for over 70 years now, and has about 15,000 hectares of farmland under prune cultivation in the central region of the country. The mediterranean climate and natural protection of the Attacama desert and Andes mountains help keep the pests at bay and the fruit sweet!

We use two types of apricots in our products: the Turkish apricots are unique to the Malatya area of Turkey (the world’s leading apricot producer) and are used in our soft eating range; the Royal apricot is farmed on Koelfontein and surrounds and is used in our all-fruit bars and snack packs for their delicious sweet-sour flavour.

Turkish apricots are much sweeter than our local Royal apricots and are dried whole, not in halves like we do locally. Our Turkish apricots are unique to Malatya, high up in the Anatolian Mountains which is also  where the Euphrates River originates. The area is irrigated by a system of canals from the upper tributaries of the Euphrates. Malatya is the source of about 50% of the fresh apricot production and 95% of the dried apricot production in Turkey. Overall, about 10-15% of the worldwide crop of fresh apricots, and about 65-80% of the worldwide production of dried apricots comes out of Malatya. Malatya apricots are mostly sun-dried by family-run orchards using traditional methods, before they are collected, sorted, washed, packed and shipped throughout the world. We ensure that our quality is always the best of the best by working with only the top producers in the area.

Figs are also native to Turkey, in fact the Izmir region of Turkey is so synonymous with growing figs that Turkish figs are still referred to by the port city’s biblical name – Smyrna figs. About 70% of total Turkish fig production is dried and exported globally. Turkey’s hot climate is ideal for growing figs and they account for about 40% of global fig production each year. Turkish figs are dried whole in the sun and are ideal for cooking with.

Most of South Africa’s mangoes are grown in the Lowveld which is the subtropical part of the country below the Drakensberg escarpment and along the Kruger National Park in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. Ours are dried in Hoedspruit and Musina. The two cultivars of mango that are best suited for drying are Keitt and Kent.

Interestingly our macadamia nuts are also produced in the Limpopo province. Our almonds on the other hand are grown in California in the USA, where 80 per cent of the world’s almonds are grown, while our cashews are found in the warm, temperate climates of Mozambique and India.

Guavas are mostly produced for us in the Wamakersvallei area near Wellington in the Western Cape, as well as in the Groot Drakenstein region near Paarl.

Our apples are grown and dried on the farm of our next-door neighbour and cousin, Daniël Conradie of Waboomsberg. This farm is actually the other half of the original Koelfontein farm! It was divided up between the sons of the third generation of Conradies, and in the last few generations the pieces have been bought back so that Daniël and Handri now each own about half of the original farm. We use Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and  Pink Lady ™ varietals for our products.

The good people of Limestone Hill Farm, an original 1820 Settler farm between Bathurst and Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape, grow and dry pineapples for At Source. The varietal is the delicious Cayenne pineapple. Together with Jono and Sheryl Bradfield of Limestone Hill, we’ve developed what we believe is the best dried pineapple on the market with a delicate sweet and sour balance.

Our cherries are from Door County in Wisconsin, USA where the orchards lie on the Niagara
escarpment protected by the surrounding waters of Lake Michigan. Our partners in Door County are called Country Ovens, a business owned by Mike and Kathy Johnson. Their premises are in the town of Forestville, which is tiny even by Prince Alfred’s Hamlet standards! Door County is on a peninsula that juts out into Lake Michigan and it forms the one shore of Green Bay. Wisconsin is known for three things: Cheese, the Green Bay Packers NFL team (whose fans call themselves “Cheese Heads”) and cherries. The cherries grown and dried there are Montmorency cherries – a sour cherry cultivar.

Our cranberries are grown in the Willamette Valley of Oregon state in the US Pacific North-West. Our partner there is Meduri Farms. They supply us with whole dried cranberries, which is a rarity in South Africa. Most of the ordinary dried cranberries found around the world are the byproducts of the juicing industry and not nearly as juicy or tasty as the ones we use. Our are dried whole to retain all of their flesh and flavor.

The Willamette River runs through a picturesque valley guarded by the snow-capped peaks of Mount Jefferson and Mount Hood (amongst others). The harvesting of cranberries is one of the true spectacles of agriculture. The cranberry “bogs” (as they are called are flooded with water, and then the berries are beaten off the shrubs and into the water from where they are harvested in large nets. It really is one of the most unique processes in fruit growing in the world!