Cascade Country Manor, an owner-managed hotel and spa in the heart of the Paarl Winelands, is one of the latest additions to South Africa’s list of Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) certified companies. According to FTT, Africa’s leading sustainable, responsible tourism practitioner, Cascade Country Manor is now part of the continent’s growing portfolio of almost 200 FTT-accredited establishments.
The Mediterranean-style 15-room villa, and one of the Cape Country Routes’ (CCR) grandeur four-star boutique hotels and spas, is in a class of its own. Surrounded by twenty-three hectares of 100-year-old olive orchards and 900 olive trees, Cascade Country Manor is set in the largest olive-producing valley in the southern hemisphere.
According to Cascade Country Manor owner, Maika Goetze, who has been running the establishment for 15 years, it has been a long road to securing the hotel’s FTT-status. “Although my team had been implementing sustainable principles for years, I only really started to understand what it took to be FTT-recognised”, says Goetze. “It certainly wasn’t an overnight achievement, but rather a learning process that changed my management ‘style’. Being FTT-accredited means being absolutely certain and consistent in your implementation of best practice”. Cascade Country Manor had to match more than 200 criteria before getting the FTT ‘okay’.
As a dedicated CCR member, Cascade Country Manor strives to provide travellers with memorable experiences against the backdrop of South Africa’s scenic qualities. “Now, it’s also a case of educating guests about organic procedures and how we continue to support local communities”, adds Goetze.
CCR is an independent group of hotels, guesthouses and country inns that incorporates character, charm and romance in guests’ experiences. FTT-certified members include De Zeekoe Country Lodge and Montagu Country Hotel.
Are you planning a ‘Fair Trade friendly’ wedding or function? CCRs FFT-accredited representatives have the following tips to help make your special occasion a ‘sustainably-happy’ one:
- Make the most of leftover flowers: “Flowers live longer than a one-evening-event”, says Cascade Country Manor owner, Maika Goetze. Place flowers in recycled ice water to give them new vigour. If you don’t plan to replant the stems, brighten up someone’s day and distribute unused flowers at community centers, elderly homes, and to staff.
- Use water wisely: No one likes the taste of melted ice … except flora. PJ Basson, owner of FFT-certified Montagu Country Hotel, advises to ‘keep things simple’ and repurpose the bar’s melted ‘resources’. “It may seem tedious at first, but it all adds up. We also have a massive gray water system, enabling us to re-use and distribute 60 percent of waste water to our garden”, adds Basson. “It’s an easy method to reduce the use of municipal water. We have certainly enjoyed the benefit of a beautiful garden!”
- Don’t waste food: “People can be quick to get rid of leftover food after a function, but there are valuable nutrients in biodegradable waste (such as vegetables and fruit) that can be used to make compost”, says Paula Potgieter who runs FTT-recognised De Zeekoe Guest Farm outside Oudtshoorn. “It’s a win-win situation for us to put back into the earth, save on waste and use it to educate the local community.” De Zeekoe Guest Farm employ and house families on the farm and educate more than 200 school children through the Zeekoegat Primary School.
For more information on Cascade Country Manor and its FTT-accredited establishments, visit http://www.capecountryroutes.com/cascade-country-manor/.