Water is critical to KARAN BEEF maintaining our ethos of quality at every touchpoint. It is well known that water is the lifeline of any feedlot, making this important key resource critical to the continued success of our Heidelberg Feedlot. As such, we have spent over 20 years implementing rigorous systems to protect the wetlands and river systems around the Feedlot area.
The KARAN BEEF Heidelberg Feedlot utilises water from the Bleskbokspruit and Suikerbosrand rivers. We are focused on protecting and utilising this important resource in ways that ensure we do not damage the existing water systems. KARAN BEEF Director Matthew Karan explains: “We have stringent systems in place to protect the wetlands and river systems surrounding our Heidelberg farm, and we are in full compliance with ISO 14001 standards which are audited annually.”
The rivers are frequently monitored, and strict procedures are in place to prevent any pollution of our precious water resources. There is a buffer of a minimum of 30m around the wetlands for waterfowl and other species to breed. “The buffer also ensures that the natural plants propagate in a manner that they do not diminish,” KARAN BEEF Environmental Consultant Dr Johann van Niekerk elaborates.
Great care is taken to ensure that the water utilised at the feedlot does not contaminate the groundwater and surrounding systems. All the pens have a 50mm biofilter layer consisting of compacted manure and soil. “Water is directed from the pens to the manure dams. Furthermore, a network of cascading ponds downwards to the floodplain ensures that the water is cleaned naturally through evapotranspiration and denitrification. If the ponds are filled up, the water is assessed and if the water quality is right it is irrigated onto fodder grass planted around the ponds,” Dr van Niekerk adds.
For the past 20 years, water from the Bleskbokspruit and Suikerbosrand rivers has played a key role in helping KARAN BEEF live up to our promise of ‘Now quality has a name’ that drives every aspect of our beef production. Therefore, we continuously look for new ways to protect the wetlands so that we can continue to provide quality beef products that all South African have come to know and love.