Client: Karsten Farms

karsten2When Babsie Karsten of Karsten Farms contacted her children’s former computer studies teacher, Freddie Roux, to write a pack house program, little did she know that she was the initiator of the acclaimed ViTrax system.

Farsoft founder Freddie Roux noted that it wasn’t his intention to start ViTrax as such. “My intention was to fill the gap I saw in the agricultural environment for systems development. This broad vision narrowed down as we became more specialised. Our first system was in the wine industry, in which we’re still involved.”

Babsie explained that as financial manager in 1996, she realised that computerisation was required for the growing business. “Freddie identified what was needed and wrote a program to meet the business requirements. After that, the program was adapted and extended annually.

In 1968, Piet and Babsie Karsten started farming on Kanoneiland and 12 years later they bought the farm Roepersfontein. This is now the head office of Karsten Farms (Pty) Ltd, a conglomerate of seven fruit farms. Each farm comprises an independent production centre with a complete packing line for every 40 ha of table grape vineyards. An apple and pear farm was added in 2000 in the Ceres area with 132 hectares of orchards. Of the 589 ha, 477 ha has table grape plantations, 89 ha produces dates, 23 ha of sweet and water melon, while the balance is used for crop rotation.