After 24 years on the Rio Largo farm, Jonathan Prins does not only see it as his workplace and home, but also as his heart place. He first started dabbling in the olive oil making process in 2007 with the then Portuguese owner. But things really changed for him when Nick and Brenda Wilkinson bought Rio Largo. Not only did they upgrade and computerise the machinery, Nick also took Jonathan under his wing and taught him how to operate the machinery, as well as the finer points of olive oil making. Jonathan says ‘Nick taught me the difference between good and bad olive oils’.
Jonathan describes the SA Olive Mentorship programme as a life-changing event for him. He says ‘before I did the Free to Grow part of the programme, I lived recklessly. The programme had a deep influence on everything in my life, including my family and work lives. It taught me to be responsible and that has made me a trustworthy employee, father and husband.’
Jonathan’s dream is to make the best olive oils for the local and export markets.