Meet Mrs. Klinkert
Mrs. Klinkert, known as the 'woman of steel', is the proud owner of Sterkfontein Poultry. A woman who has lived an unbelievable story and has fought to build the business of her dreams. She began her farming journey in 1987, and has since grown the company into an exceptionally successful organization.
"I am more scared of poverty than hard work" - Charlene Klikert
Mrs. Klinkert started her dream of becoming a farmer at the ripe age of 41. Her late husband Sam Klinkert and herself bought a plot in Tarlton, whereby they housed 1 000 day old chicks in a garage on the plot. Little did the Klinkert's know, these chicks were commercial layers and not broilers. This was a huge set back, but Charlene was determined to persevere. They decided to sell the layers to brickyard workers from the plot's gate.
There after, her brother-in-law intervened and helped them to get back on track with the broiler chicks.
Shortly after, they bought Plot 40, Zwartkrans. This marked the beginning of Sterkfontein Poultry's story.
Their long journey began with this single piece of empty land, with no infrastructure, where everything was built with their bare hands. The first abattoir was built along with the first official chicken house. Two of her sons joined them in 1990 to help build and develop on the property. They grew their business together as a family and began to sell poultry products into the informal market, where they supplied a few local banks, and went onto supplying small butcheries. As the business grew, they expanded into Magalies and Weltevreden where more chicken houses were built.
In 1997, Sam Klinkert was tragically killed in a farm attack, which left Charlene to run the business alone with her two sons. The family worked day and night to grow Sterkfontein Poultry at an exponential rate from 1998-2006. In 1998, the abattoir took it's first step in becoming an automated facility, which was life changing to the business.
2006 marked the beginning of the business's next chapter - the hatchery. Middle son, Rohan Meintjes, introduced Sterkfontein Chicks as the next phase of the company. This became essential to Sterkfontein Poultry's integration, which led the company to being a now fully integrated entity, with the exception of not having their own feed mill.