We Spartans love our beef, and we hope you will too!
The Group was established in 1966 by the late Dirk van Reenen on the farm Sparta in the Marquard district, in South Africa’s Free State province.
Sparta can trace its beef production roots back more than a century.
Founder of the Sparta Group, Dirk van Reenen is born.
Hester van Reenen (née Potgieter) mother of Dirk van Reenen, inherits a subdivision of the farm Middel, in the Free State province from her father. Hester and her husband Lou, decide to call their farm Sparta in the hope that their children will one day work as hard as the Spartans did.
Dirk van Reenen joins his father on the farm in Marquard after graduating from the University of Natal.
Dirk van Reenen marries a local Free State woman, Betty Lombard. They would be partners for the next 48 years and have five children together.
This year commemorates the birth of the Sparta cattle feeding operation. Dirk van Reenen launches his own grain-fed experiment with just 30 head of cattle.
Dirk van Reenen starts forging the global network of experts across the world. First stop – USA.
Sparta celebrates its first milestone: 4500 head of cattle fed all year round.
Dirk van Reenen purchases Polmietkuil farm, which drastically increased the catchment area for water to the feedlot.
Renovations at Sparta Marquard take place to accommodate the company’s first computer. It takes up a whole room.
Dallas Horton, an American feedlot consultant, visits Sparta for the first time. This was the start if a life-long professional relationship and friendship between Dallas and Dirk. Dallas had a significant impact on the cattle feeding operation at Sparta.
Sparta acquires Rietfontein farm which is the biggest undivided tract of land in the Free State – solving much of Sparta’s water issues.
Sparta contract slaughters at Renown in Welkom after the disbanding of the South African Meat Board.
Dirk van Reenen purchases Polmietkuil farm, which drastically increased the catchment area for the water to the feedlot.
A massive extension of the Sparta feedlot is undertaken, with the new pens being built on the Sparta farm.
Sparta buys Renown abattoir in Welkom, renaming it Sparta Foods.
Sparta Foods became the first beef processing facility in South Africa to debone carcasses on a large, central scale. Approximately three tonnes of beef is processed daily.
Sparta achieves another milestone: 45 000 head of cattle are fed on our farm.
Major renovations are undertaken at the Beef Processing Facility – Sparta upgrades and expands the capacity of the facility.
Dirk van Reenen steps down. Lou van Reenen becomes the chairman of the Sparta Group, with Estelle van Reenen as the new CEO of the Group. Sparta launches its new corporate identity.
Our Individual Electronic Identification system (EID) is rolled out at the cattle feeding operation. This system ensures that our beef is traceable from farm to finished product.
Sparta is feeding 60 000 head of cattle.
The deboning facility is upgraded at the Beef Processing facility in Welkom, allowing us to now debone in excess of 130 tonnes of beef per shift.
Sparta now houses a retail-ready and value-add packaging facility.
Sparta acquires another feedlot, Taaiboschbult, located in the North West province. The Sparta Group now has the capacity to host well in excess of 100 000 cattle.
Sparta turns 50 with a new logo and corporate identity. Further major renovations are commissioned at the Welkom plant, drastically increasing the freezing and chilling capacity space at the plant.
Sparta launches a range of Wagyu and Angus beef products.
Sparta’s Welkom offices receive an upgrade and now boast a truly innovative space. New cattle serialisation system implemented. Generator project is completed enabling Sparta to fully operate its meat processing facility without electricity.
Sparta builds pens for an additional 4500 cattle. Skin pack machine commissioned, and Sparta packs Spar Steak Co steaks, co-branded with Spar. Sparta commissions it’s new boiler, fully compliant with new international air emission standards.