Flower Valley is confirmed as the coordinator of the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative, in setting up and provisionally coordinating ABI in its second phase.
Flower Valley sells the neighbouring farm Witvoetskloof to Grootbos Nature Reserve. The sale takes place on the condition that conservation restrictions are placed on the title deed to ensure land use of the farm will forever be for conservation of the natural fynbos. This is the first such ‘conservation easement’ of its kind in the country.
Flower Valley Farm is hit by a devastating fire that destroys more than 45,000 hectares in the Walker Bay area – most of this pristine fynbos. The fire affects many fynbos suppliers and their picking teams. Moreover, Flower Valley Farm itself loses a large portion of its afromontane forest, one of the reasons behind the Stinkhoutsbos Forest Restoration Project happening today.
Flower Valley Conservation Trust buys the neighbouring farm, Witvoetskloof, with funding secured from Fauna & Flora International. This farm is home to many highly threatened fynbos species, many found only on Witvoetskloof and nowhere else in the world.
Flower Valley Conservation Trust is mandated through the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) to investigate ABI’s second objective: ‘Ecologically, socially and economically sustainable harvesting of wild fynbos is demonstrated as a viable land-use on Agulhas Plain’. This sets Flower Valley on the path to develop the Sustainable Harvesting Programme, a programme based on research, science and wide participation. The outcome is awarded a ‘highly satisfactory’ rating by the end of the project, in 2010.
The Flower Valley Early Learning Centre for children aged between two and six is born, to help look after the children of fynbos harvesters and farm workers while they’re at work. The centre’s work in providing an environmental education for children continues today.
With talk that the area is to be converted to vineyards, a concerned individual, Carol Blumenthal approaches Fauna & Flora International (FFI) for support to buy Flower Valley Farm, based just outside Gansbaai. FFI purchases the farm, an area of 540 hectares, and sets up Flower Valley Conservation Trust to manage the farm.