THE STORY OF SOUTH AFRICA’S PREMIER SALT FAMILY
In 1974, in an expanse stretching over 30 km of parched earth – about 90 km south of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and 200 km north of Upington – Donald Brown answered the call of the Kalahari at a vast salt pan on the dried-up shores of the Sakrivier. Though Loch Maree retained only the memory of a great body of water that once glistened in the relentless rays of a much younger sun over 280 million years ago, her true riches lay deep underground.
When Donald Brown acquired Verland Salt, he and his family became the custodians of an ancient craft dating as far back 6,000 BCE. In the world of salt, things evolve slowly, and the process of extracting salt rich water from underground lakes has remained largely the same since this practice was first invented in Ancient China.
The Brown family understood the gravity of what they now held in their hands; a natural gift from the earth produced by the convergence of the elements, sun, wind, water and earth. But they knew that its bounty, however regenerative, would not last unless they worked in perfect harmony with nature, abiding by the philosophy: never take more than you need, and at all times, help the environment to replenish what it needs.
Today, the Brown family is responsible for the livelihoods of 300 souls – the lifeblood of their enterprise. But the Browns also consider every community in which their salt is made to be their responsibility. Beyond their doors, they are also avid supporters of the San people, who have called this region home for thousands of years.
Our resources are not infinite, but when treated with respect for the earth’s delicate equilibrium – by giving back – the earth gives back in return. It asks only for patience and vision.
READ MORE ABOUT SALT’S ROLE IN FOOD IN JAN THE JOURNAL VOLUME 7
They select the finest black peppercorns to compliment the exquisite flavour of their Ancient Desert Kalahari Salt. Their robust and aromatic flavours add depth to any dish and they are free of any additives or preservatives. The Ancient Desert Kalahari Salt comes from one of the most pristine, unpolluted sources of salt found naturally in the world. It is rich in essential minerals and trace elements, and perfectly balanced to help meet your body’s needs. The Donal Brown Group salt is harvested in harmony with nature and we invest in projects that care for communities each year, so they can continue to thrive.