As part of our corporate social investment, wherever possible we employ people from the farm and promote from within. This provides growth opportunities for a segment of the population who would traditionally be destined for a life as farm laborers. Our vineyard managers are all from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and have been trained on site. Many of them have never completed secondary school. The cheese factory was started in 1995. This created excellent career opportunities for the current crop of farm labourers and their offspring to be trained as dairy technicians and cheese makers. The crowning achievement was in 2006 when the Alfalfa Dairy Feta cheese won the South African Championships and was judged the best Feta cheese in South Africa. The positive spin-off from this award was that one of our local cheese makers was awarded the prestigious scholarship. She was able to further enhance her cheese making skills in Burgundy, France. The cheese maker, Nolile Mazetta was born on the van der Merwe’s farm. Apart from being an incredible individual, she used the opportunities afforded to her in the system on the farm. It was a major feat to kick dust in the faces of candidates from multinational companies such as Parmalat, with university degrees to win this particular award.