Rooibos tea company plans European entry with packed tea

SOUTH AFRICA – SA Rooibos Tea Supplies, Western Cape-based tea company has unveiled plans to move into the European market over the next ten years, an IOL Business report reveals.

The company is seeking to become the preferred supplier of packed rooibos tea, promoted with vitality and a healthy lifestyle to the market.

The plans were revealed at the 27th Salon International de l’Alimentation (Sial) Food Innovation Exhibition in Paris, France where the company was part of a 38-member delegation led by the Department of Trade and Industry.

“We are a turn-key source, packer and exporter of South African herbal teas to the world and our company specialises not only in offering the refreshing rooibos and Honeybush tea under our own trademark, but we offer it as a private label as well,” said the Managing Director of SA Rooibos, Mr Jacques Bester.

“Our company has been in operation for 20 years and employs 50 people.

We operate from our plant in Gordons Bay and over the years we have steadily expanded our presence in the international market.

We currently are exporting our products to Japan, South-Korea, Germany and the Netherlands. We intend on exporting to France soon.”

He said that the company aims to offer a value-added, superior finished product to the market, with a focus on grocery chains, distributors and importers.

Rooibos is described as a unique, smooth beverage and a champion of health tea brewed in South Africa from leaves of the Rooibos shrub (Aspalathus linearis), indigenous to the Cedarberg mountain region in the Cape.

Rooibos is rich in polyphenol antioxidants, but has a low tannin content and no caffeine.

Rooibos and Honeybush, the sweeter tasting sibling of Rooibos, are inimitable products which only grow in South Africa and are gaining popularity as speciality teas across the globe.

According to the company, the fact that it only grows in specific regions on South African soil contributes to making rooibos and Honeybush tea increasingly sought-after products.

Rooibos (which ‘red bush’ in Afrikaans) tea trademark was awarded to South Africa in an economic partnership agreement with the European Union.

This was after the South African Rooibos Council intervened to stop an attempt by a French company to trademark the name, fearing that it could secure exclusive use.

Due to its increasing popularity on the global map for its health attributes, companies in America and France had made attempts to trademark the name.

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