Environmental Initiatives

Environmental Initiatives
Environmental Initiatives


We believe in sustainable agriculture and are committed to protecting the environment, promoting biodiversity, and mini-mising our impact on the planet. We believe that sustainable agriculture is good for the environment and the long-term success of our business.

Our commitment to ESG initiatives is to improve food security and to assist in developing and support our farmers and communities in South Africa. The ESG projects include:

Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA)
A leading Section 21 Non-Profit Organisation that addresses food security, environmental sustainability, and greening. FTFA has a large and diverse programme portfolio, including Community Market Gardens, FEED Africa (Farmer Development), Community Tree Planting, School Gardening, The EduPlant Programme, and many more. Starke Ayres sponsors seed on an annual basis, as well Starke Ayres teamed up with Food and Trees for Africa to donate 145 fruit trees, a tree for each year that Starke Ayres has been in business, to the Community Tree Planting Initiative.
Owl & Bat projects with EcoSolutions
Starke Ayres partnered with Eco Solutions, a company focusing on non-toxic, effective pest control, to create an owl and bat sanctuary dedicated to protecting these expert rodent managers. The farm has four bat hotels and 18 owl boxes that provide shelter and breeding space for the owls to grow and reproduce while they serve as patrol agents preying on the disease-carrying intruders.
FNB ECD Community Gardens
Starke Ayres joined the team from FNB ECD (Early Childhood Development) and its volunteers, to plant vegetable community gardens in and around the KZN/Gauteng/Cape Town areas. Starke Ayres and the FNB volunteers take an area of sand and stone and turn it into a beautiful self-sustaining vegetable garden, while educating the children and their caretakers on how to care for these gardens properly.
Fifi’s Veggie Farmacy
Starke Ayres became the official seed supplier for Fifi’s Veggie Farmacy (formally known as Bertram’s Inner-City Farm) just before the onset of Covid-19. Fifi’s Veggie Farmacy is a Bambanani Food and Herb Cooperative Project run in the heart of Johannesburg. When the Johannesburg City Council forced Refiloe Molefe off the property of Bertrams Inner City Farm in July 2022, Starke Ayres continued to support Ma Refiloe in her relocation and her new name Fifi’s Veggie Farmacy by continuing to donate seeds and training support when needed. Ma Refiloe runs this farm, with the help of Malungani Light, ensuring that “no one goes to bed hungry”. With the assistance of university students, Refiloe and her team work on the farm to grow nutritious vegetables to feed the community.
Solar project – Plennegy Energy
Starke Ayres successfully installed a solar panel system to mitigate fossil fuel electricity production to lessen its carbon footprint at its Kempton Park head office. A standard household solar panel system can provide for an entire home’s electrical demands while emitting around 80% less carbon than fossil fuels. Starke Ayres’, together with four other entities within the Plennegy Group, solar panel systems will free up enough electricity on the South African grid during the year to service approximately 130 households or reduce the amount of coal required to produce the same amount ofenergy by over 550t per annum. The Group continues looking for more opportunities across its operations to reduce input costs, secure electrical supply, and effectively invest in the environment.
Project ARATIS - Accelerating Rural Access To Improved Seed
Starke Ayres Zambia has been awarded an Enterprise Zambia Challenge Fund grant to finance “ARATIS” – Accelerating Rural Access To Improved Seed.  Through training and demonstrations, this project introduces the benefits of hybrid and improved seeds to smallholder farmers across Zambia. A big focus is on climate-smart best-farming practices and encouraging farmers to diversify their crops to include vegetables. Partnering with other NGOs, ARATIS also trains farmers on crop diversification’s importance to enhance a healthier and more nutritional diet. This initiative could open new markets and revenue opportunities for farmers. The Fund supports actions enabling SMEs and smallholders to transition to greener and more sustainable agri-food systems and tackle the challenges presented by Covid-19 and actions supporting gender and youth-focused opportunities and nutritionally sensitive (regional/national) value chains.
Food for Mzansi
Food for Mzansi is a movement saluting the unsung heroes of South African Agriculture. Their mission is to tell the untold stories of the people who work hard daily to put food on your plate. Starke Ayres supports Food for Mzansi and their Young Farmers Indaba, which attracts South Africa’s top young farmers and agripreneurs, allowing them to gain valuable information and connect with like-minded businesses.