The beauty industry, chemists and natural beauty enthusiasts have struck gold in the rooibos bush crop.
While this bush has been around for centuries, only recently have scratched the surface for the benefits of rooibos for internal health and skincare. South Africa has a virtual monopoly on the rooibos industry due to the unique climate of the Cederberg valley.
Due to globalisation and consumerism, things such as rooibos that was previously a South African novelty is now readily available to be shipped anywhere in the world in an instant. Last year alone Rooibos exports were up to more than 7600 tons last year. The global growth rate of rooibos can be attributed to the presence and the role of the South African Rooibos Council (SARC) which essentially acts as a catch-all for all rooibos related matters. This includes anything from supporting rooibos farmers, informing the public on breakthroughs and benefits of rooibos but most importantly the SARC has embarked on a deal that is one of a kind looping in the Khoi and San people. “Partnering with the Khoi and San people is important for everyone, we still have so much to learn about the benefits of Rooibos, but this exchange of knowledge needs to be beneficial to all,” Adele du Toit explains, emphasising the importance of adhering to the international standards of the Nagoya Protocol. Over the past decade, there has been a huge increase in the collective consciousness of society from moving in from organic produce meant for our bodies moving onto the more superficial aspects of the appearance of our skin. Over the last two decades, there has been a dramatic shift in the consumer patterns of skincare moving from the highly chemicalised skincare routines to more natural ones. It’s estimated that the global herbal beauty products market size is valued at USD 78.5 billion
While attaining the name of South Africa’s most loved drink, there has been a steady flowing and growing industry and network of rooibos farmers, who have relied on the steady demand of rooibos purely for beverages. Does this sudden global interest in rooibos stimulate or strain a community that has lived in relative comfort for decades?
“The local rooibos industry is more than ready for an eventual rooibos boom as foreign and overseas interest grows,” said Du Toit.
This can be attributed to the research around rooibos funded by the SARC amounting to about R4.5 million rand.
It is estimated that only half of all rooibos produced is bound for export to other countries, providing a favourable trade balance and putting South Africa in the global eye for a positive reason. – Mukurukuru Media
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