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Think BIG

'“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe – it can achieve.” Napoleon Hill

In 2013 Konsortium-Merino sold a massive 891 rams under their brand on six auctions at an average price of R5 363. This is more than 23% of Merino SA's ram sales.

Who would have thought that four breeders, who started off by selling 78 rams at their first auction in 2001, would conquer the market? This team increased their scope. They think big! Today Konsortium-Merino sell the most rams on official ram sales in South Africa and have already bettered the SA record for turnover at a Merino ram sale eight times. This season they also improved their SA record for the most rams sold on one auction, to 333.  

Altogether 3 657 rams, from a group of about 7 000 ram lambs born, were entered for the 2013 auctions and tested under natural veld conditions. Eventually 986 rams were selected for the six auctions. This is barely 14% of the original group. “We are not chasing numbers. Mother Nature classes our sheep and strict hand-eye selection ensures quality,” says Gawie van Heerden, director of marketing for Konsortium-Merino.

Improve flocks   
Gawie is proud of the impact that Konsortium-Merino has had on flocks countrywide. A success story is that of Tobie Mostert of Philadelphia in the Swartland, who farms with about 600 Merino ewes. Tobie bought his first KM rams five years ago. The average micron of his clip was then 21.5, he sold his weathers at 13 months, he shore 40 bales of wool and he had only 120 two-tooth ewes to select from for his flock.

Today Tobie’s clip is 19.3 micron, he markets his weathers at four months (21.2 kg on the hook), he shears 49 bales of wool and this year he had 370 two-tooth ewes to choose from.

Unfair advantage
Konsortium-Merino reckon they have an unfair advantage. “The foundation of our success is our large gene pool which is classed by Mother Nature. If she does her job well, we pay the price, for many rams fall by the wayside – but quality is guaranteed.” 

Gawie says to sell a product without a brand is as good as selling something without a face. A lot of energy is thus pumped into the KM brand. So much so, that the demand outstripped the supply of their wool, meat and skins.

Make a plan
After much brainstorming the directors of Konsortium-Merino established a holding company which, in terms of the Companies Act of 2008, issued shares to the public this year. Many more farmers and other investors can now become part of the Konsortium-Merino success story via Konsortium Holdings Pty Ltd. It gives the public an opportunity to invest in land and stock without having to deal with the everyday management of such a business.
Their quest to find an anchor investor is on-going. Braam Coetzee, director of Konsortium-Merino says that the capital generated will be used by Konsortium Holdings to buy, or hire, agricultural land and stock to extend Konsortium’s farming enterprises. The goal is to achieve 20% market share of the Merino industry in South Africa and to then be able to produce enough wool, meat and skins to supply the local and international demand for Konsortium-Merino products.

Together we offer more
The Konsortium’s passion and enthusiasm for their Merinos is contagious. This, together with a well thought out business plan, dedication and integrity is a winning combination. This group has vision. Their focus on the improvement of the Konsortium-Merino type and the promotion of their brand ensures growth and prosperity for the whole Konsortium-Merino family.

“Konsortium-Merino does not want to be a small fish in a large pool, nor does it want to be a large fish in a small pool. Konsortium-Merino wants to be the first fish to walk on land.” Gawie van Heerden

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