Flower Valley Conservation Trust is a registered, public benefit conservation organisation, founded in February 1999. We aim to conserve the rich biodiversity found in the often-threatened fynbos vegetation, while promoting sustainable social development in areas in the Cape Floral Kingdom where fynbos is harvested.
Our primary activity is to promote sustainable harvesting of wild fynbos, where picking and trading in fynbos is a major livelihood of vulnerable local communities. Through the Sustainable Harvesting Programme, we aim to ensure only the right species are picked for the market, while protecting those species that are vulnerable or endangered. The Programme ensures fynbos suppliers receive support to meet strict environmental standards, who are ultimately audited against a Code of Best Practice for Wild Harvesters.
The Trust also provides opportunities for harvesters, through various training and up-skilling programmes. We encourage and support suppliers to meet labour and social compliance, as increasingly demanded by the market. As such, we work with conservation organisations, such as CapeNature, producer groups, including the Protea Producers Association of SA and with local and international retail outlets to improve access to markets for local harvesters.
Liaising with landowners and communities, Flower Valley assists in safeguarding endangered natural vegetation across the Agulhas Plain, a biodiversity hotspot, by coordinating a major invasive alien clearing programme across the Agulhas Plain - also adding to the preservation of our fynbos heritage.
Flower Valley Farm, just outside Gansbaai, is also the home of the Flower Valley Pre-school, offering an environmentally-based education to children aged between two and six. We understand the importance of offering our children (many from rural and peri-urban communities in the area), the best possible start to their career in education, and reaching them from the youngest possible age. Our school is the longest-serving member of the Wessa Eco-Schools Programme in the Overberg.
Through our work with the Western Cape Department of Social Development, we are now expanding our Early Childhood Development (ECD) work to reach even more schools in the region. The Flower Valley ECD Programme is supporting eight ECD centres in the Overstrand, to better equip education and support management functions, while supplying learning programme development and training.
In order to meet Flower Valley's goal to promote good fynbos landscape management, we are now working to evolve Flower Valley Farm into a training and educational centre, by working closely with the Southern African Wildlife College. These plans and developments are still afoot - so watch this space closely.