The Western Cape’s Van Hasselt Farming was awarded the prestigious Miyuki Keori Mohair Trophy earlier this week at the mohair headquarters in Port Elizabeth.
The annual trophy is awarded to the grower of the most excellent mohair fibre, contributing to the development of the industry.
The grand champions, Miyuki Mohair Trophy 2015 winners Gay and Jordi van Hasselt, have won it four times in the past five years.
Van Hasselt Farming was started by Clive van Hasselt in the Karoo 24 years ago. He died about seven years ago. His son, Jordi, 24, of Prince Albert, said: “We are ecstatic about winning the award this year.
“My father basically set the standard [of our product] and we are just trying to continue that legacy.
“This is the biggest and most prestigious award we could win and it is great to receive acknowledgment for our efforts, but [it was] a team effort from our staff.”
The long-standing competition was launched by the Miyuki Keori Company Limited in Japan, which has said South Africa’s mohair producers are the best in the world.
Reserve Grand Champion Barries Snijman, 47, of Rietbron, was the runner up in both the summer and winter clips for best quality and well-presented clips.
The Veilkuil Boerdery owner, who has been involved in the industry for 22 years, said: “Jordi is still quite a young man and I am sure it means a lot to him winning this award, especially since his father laid such a solid foundation.
“I didn’t expect to win the overall trophy because the competition was tough as all the farmers have put in a lot of effort but I am proud of winning my award, especially because of my excellent team.”
Miyuki Keori president Kiyoshi Okumura said: “Mohair has a special place in my heart and it is my greatest desire to be able to transfer the understanding of how special this fibre is to the consumer.”
Mohair South Africa board member Andrew Laing said it was interesting and pleasing to see three of the finalists were young producers from the next generation.