Mataffin farm is our genesis. It is the location of where our founder, HL Hall, first established the agricultural foundation of what has become, 127 years on, the HL Hall & Sons Group. Mataffin farm has witnessed numerous changes over the years and today specialises primarly in avocado with pecan, litchi and sugarcane. Located on the confluence of the Crocodile, Nels and Gladdespruit Rivers on the outskirts of Nelspruit, Mbombela, Mataffin farm remains one of the most iconic farms in the history of South Africa.
During 2003 Halls entered into an agreement with the South African government to transfer ownership of 6,000ha of agricultural land to the Mdluli clan and local community, collectively the Matsafeni Trust. Today this land transfer remains the largest operating farm restitution project in post-democratic South Africa. With any land transfers in South Africa post democracy, challenges remain with regard to socio-economic issues, funding and skills transfer to the encumbents. As such Halls is proud to partner with the Matsafeni Trust in the continuation of farming avocado, pecan and litchi productively and sustainably.
During 2010 Halls entered into a joint venture with the Makgoba Trust, namely the Halls Makgoba Farming Company, to partner in the management of a restituted avocado, litchi and banana farming operation in Georges Valley, Tzaneen. The Makgoba Trust and Halls continue to work closely together to expand the farming operations for the benefit of the Makgoba beneficiaries.
In 2016 Halls purchased Forest Hill, an avocado and timber farm situated on the outskirts of Tzaneen.
Halls currently leases the Sunnyside avocado and macadamia farm, located in the Luvubu district of South Africa, from the Knott family. The Knott family has three generations of sub-tropical farming in their blood and understandably expects best practice from Halls in terms of sustainability and community upliftment.
Halls currently leases the Langbult avocado farm, located on the outskirts of Tzaneen, from the Darasz family.
GROWING AND HARVESTING
Our crops are carefully cultivated according to the principles of Good Agricultural Practice (GAP). As custodians of the land, it is imperative to ensure that the farmlands we work year after year remain in harmony with the fragile ecology that surrounds them.
Crop type is carefully matched to area of cultivation and to the prevailing climate, to ensure marginal farming is avoided. By this careful selection, efficient farming techniques become prevalent and the resultant impact on the land is minimalised. Resources are afforded, and re-used, in a responsible manner to ensure optimal production and minimal wastage.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is central to our farming philosophy. Only the judicious use of appropriate chemicals is adopted when robust pest scouting and monitoring procedures indicate a need for intervention.
Having fully identified our natural fauna and flora, as well as our ecologically sensitive area such as Nature Islands and Riverine belts, we are always well positioned to combat the scourge of modern day farming.
Fruit quality at eating can often be directly determined by inherent fruit quality from the orchard. It is for this reason that primary orchard management practices such as nutrition and irrigation are carefully monitored during respective fruit development stages on the tree.
The important day comes for the fruit to be harvested when it is at its prime and in the best condition for supply to either local or export markets. After weeks of dedicated fruit maturity testing, orchards are finally cleared for harvest and the experienced men and women from our harvest team enter to carefully pick the fruit for immediate delivery into the packing facility.
Halls has a dedicated Technical Department, advising both Halls' farms and our external grower partners in how to adopt sound farming practices to meet various stringent Food Safety and Food Quality requirements of particular destination markets.
In addition, our Technical team provides guidance and support to pack houses, logistics operations, ripening facilities and marketing teams thereby ensuring quality produce from the tree to the shelf.