Saffricon was founded in 2013 by Bennie Engelbrecht with the vision of bringing a new opportunity to the South African market. Over the years, Bennie and his team successfully cultivated saffron, first in Pretoria and now in the Williston/Calvinia area in the Northern Cape. Saffricon continually supports various Outgrowers across Southern Africa.
The idea around the commercial production of saffron in South Africa started many years ago. Extensive research was done to understand why it hasn’t been done on a commercial scale in South Africa yet. Gaining important knowledge about saffron and the production thereof, it became clear that this is a plant with huge medicinal and monetary potential.
It became obvious at an early stage that it will be a unique opportunity to establish a new crop in a country that greatly suffers from drought. With the minimal amount of water saffron needs, it just made sense to pursue this dream.
Based in the Karoo
Production started in the area called the Hantam Karoo. The word Hantam translated from the Khoi language means: Place where the red bulbs grow. The entire area is traditionally sheep production orientated, but farmers are suffering under an 8-year drought. The towns and local communities are dependent on these farmers, and when the farmers suffer, the whole community suffers.
Our aim is to uplift the local communities to become self-sufficient and give the farmers the opportunity to survive the ongoing drought. Saffron production in this area creates substantial growth and income.
Saffricon has positioned itself as a key role-player to assist Africa in general and South Africa specifically to achieve its potential as a net benefitted saffron exporter, driver of progressive economic & social development and a model for enhancing wealth, thus providing food security.