Talborne Organics is a family-run business with a footprint across various agricultural sectors throughout Southern Africa.
We are passionate about soil health, plant nutrition and ultimately human health.
Talborne Organics manufactures and distributes high performance commercial organic fertilizers and solutions for soil and crop health.
Years of Heritage
tons of Carbon returned to the earth
Talborne Organics traces its roots back to the 1980’s, when entrepreneurs Mike and Jenny Slabber saw television reports about severe pollution in European rivers and coastlines, with synthetic farming inputs being a primary cause. By chance, they learned of a demand for natural fertilizers amongst German wine grape and medicinal herb growers, and grasping the opportunity, they set up a small factory in South Africa to manufacture natural fertilizers.
As the company grew and developed, the products were sold to local South African farmers, where many of South Africa’s soils, which are ancient and weathered when compared to international norms, were found to be severely depleted because of industrial scale intensive agriculture. The standard practises of applying huge quantities of salt-based fertilisers in search of maximum yields was destroying soil health and fertility, making crops vulnerable to weeds, pest and disease pressure and climatic stresses.
The Afrikaans saying “hulle het die grond gemyn” which when translated into English means “they mined the soil” was a recurring theme when analysing many a farm’s soils. Understanding that these practices were extractive and entirely unsustainable, Mike and Jenny looked for restorative solutions.
Having both grown up on farms in rural South Africa, they had a keen appreciation for the intricacies and complexities found in nature. They understood then, what is becoming increasingly clear now: Healthy Soil = Healthy Plants = Healthy People and the only way to produce healthy and sustainable food in sufficient volumes, is by working with nature, and not against it.
Mike and Jenny’s combined experience in commodities trading, and food health, led them to an idea: To create Organic fertilizers by using available natural products, that could be an alternative to synthetic fertilizers. They saw the potential, and work began on a range of balanced, high nutrient, commercial scale Organic fertilizers. Their work paid off and the VITA® Organic Fertilizer range was launched in March 2000. The products were certified to North American and European Organic Standards, meaning that South African Certified Organic farmers could use Talborne Organic Fertilisers on their crops, and export their produce to markets in Europe and the USA, where demand for Organic produce was steadily growing.
However, things were not easy back then. The term “Organic” was associated with old fashioned farming practices (as well as eccentric people). The mainstream opinion was that Organic farming would almost certainly lead to reduced and inconsistent yields relative to industrial farming practices. This central myth about Organic practices, made it very difficult to convince and attract customers to using the products. Money was hard to come by, and profits had to be sacrificed and re-invested into the business. However, step by step, customers began to see the sustained benefits of investing in building up their soil’s health and fertility.
With patience and perseverance, and the support of our loyal customers, Talborne Organics has grown to be the partner of choice for thousands of Famers, Growers, Landscapers and Gardeners, who have seen their crops, fields and gardens regenerate and thrive. Our team continues to be motivated by the enthusiastic feedback from our customers, who have, by growing health, achieved excellent, sustained results when using Talborne ranges. What’s very important to us is knowing that our products are not harmful to people, animals or to the planet, as we believe that future generations should also be able to enjoy the bounty of nature in the same way that we have.
This passion for the work we do and the purpose we have, has enabled us to continue learning, teaching, growing, and expanding into new products, services, sectors, and countries.
The Talborne Group provides direct employment for about 70 team members and creates a significant number of indirect jobs in the circular economy and throughout the supply chain. It fills us with pride to see how African farmers and growers are providing world class produce to local and international markets.
Talborne Organic’s motto of “Growing Health”, and cultivating partnerships with our farmers and growers, speaks to our passion for the sustainable growth of healthy, tasty & nutrient dense food. We treat our customers as partners, and endeavour to go beyond the traditional customer-supplier relationship, willingly sharing our product and Industry expertise, to ensure our partners achieve results.
This is how we ‘Grow Health’ in our customer’s businesses.
As founders of the Organic / Regenerative movement in South Africa, innovation is in our DNA. We strive to bring only the best products to market and spend considerable time and effort in testing our products prior to marketing them. Our network includes international organisations which bring the latest global experience and best practices to our product lines.
We conduct in-house and outsourced trials to determine the best product for a specific crop or growing condition. We additionally conduct trials together with our farmers and agent partners, ensuring farmers get the best results given their unique soils and growing conditions.
Talborne’s products are registered with the Department of Agriculture and conform to the regulations of the Fertilizer Act 36 of 1947, GlobalGAP and Control Union Approved inputs for EU and US NOP Organic Standards.