What Makes us Different?
We are a family-owned and operated company, in which we oversee every aspect of our business. From the orchard management, harvesting and processing to the marketing. Each tree has been individually planted, hand pruned and harvested by Jim. These trees are looked after like our children.
Every single day Jim takes a drive around the properties to make sure that everything is looking happy and healthy. Each orchard and sections of each orchard are monitored for their water and food requirements separately – to produce an exceptional final product.
It is our objective to perform and execute sheer perfection at every stage of our process, to deliver a superior class of almonds in the marketplace that differs from the rest.
Our passion and dedication to our business and its operating procedures is recognised by many and is often used as an industry example.
We are proud to showcase beautiful meticulous orchards and continue these standards all the way through to the delivery of our almonds to the customer’s doorstep.
For over two decades we have been one of the few family businesses in which we grow and market our own almonds. Our name “Belehris Estates” is recognised in the marketplace as “THE ALMONDS IN THE BROWN BOX”.
Our Emphasis is to limit our environmental footprint by strategically managing our orchards to minimise the usage and wastage of:
Our Orchards are managed with strict hygiene practices which eliminate the use of harmful Pesticides and insecticides on the properties.
The importance of having a product that has been grown in the most natural way as possible is our focus, with limited application of synthetic fertilisers.
All our orchards are managed and monitored individually for their water and fertiliser requirements.
We recognise the importance of Eco- friendly practices and acknowledge that BALANCE is crucial in sustainable agriculture methods.
These practices begin with the wellbeing of our trees and the orchard floor.
We conduct soil and leaf analysis at specific times of the season to report to us levels of trace elements and minerals in these areas.
From this information, we then work together with a handpicked group of specialists to provide a blend of these, such as magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, together with beneficial microbes.
These are then applied to the tree foliage and or to the soil through sprinklers during irrigation. With the installation of the most up to date technology in fertigation and irrigation systems, we can feed our trees and enhance our soils precisely when they need to be, and can be monitored through our water and soil computer programs.
Natural composted manures are spread through the orchards as well, which add goodness to the soils and feed microbes. The microbes in turn breakdown all these elements and make them readily available to the tree.
The orchards are sown with a cereal crop through the middle of the rows after harvest.
This “cover crop” not only holds down the soil and eliminates any soil erosion from winds, but it also retains moisture levels in the soil, minimising water usage. When mowed down, the mulch is incorporated back into the orchard, providing organic matter to benefit crucial insects and micro-organisms. This keeps the entire eco-system happy.
Being aware of this precious natural resource, we have installed revolutionary computer water monitoring systems. This involves probes being installed into the trunk of selected trees and in the soil. Through this software, the trees daily water usage is observed, and their requirements met. This is to ensure that the tree is receiving what it needs to produce an exceptional almond in its appearance, taste and size whilst consuming minimal amounts of water, and optimising the end results.
During the growing stage of an orchard from a young tree to its fully matured size, we change sprinkler jet sizes so that it waters the diameter of the trees root zone.
As the trees growth rate increases, the sprinkler size is changed to reflect the maturity of the tree.
We are very mindful of our fuel consumption and have measures in place to maximise fuel efficiency.
All our machinery and equipment has been either custom-made or purchased with the intension of completing a “one pass” process. This means that they either hold a larger capacity or their size covers the entire length of the tree rows.
The photo of our mower shows that it can mow the cover crop in a single pass, which halves the time and the fuel used to do this.
As a family unit we know it is important for us to play our role in regards to the environment.
We have installed a solar panel system which operates the packing facility, coolroom as well as the running of the pump systems to irrigate the orchards.
Our irrigation infrastructure is absolutely the latest and greatest.
Powered by variable speed drives that only use the power required to run the irrigation pump – at only the speed it needs to run to achieve the water pressure required – making it a very efficient system.
Whereas older technology turns the pump on and runs at full capacity all the time and relies on a valve to regulate the pressure down to what is required making it very inefficient.
We have limited our dependence on electricity through the grid and making our difference to the environment and reducing our carbon footprint.
All the packaging materials are 100% recyclable, and we endeavour to recycle wherever possible, this is not only in the workplace, but we have become consciously aware of making appropriate decisions that impact any type of unnecessary waste.
There is no wastage with almonds – any piece of almond that does not reach quality measures is assigned as waste. This waste product is supplied to bird breeders, and the almond husks are used as stock feed for animals.
Almond shells are also excellent for use as mulch in the gardens.