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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The development path of rooibos tea: a review of patterns and lessons learnt for the commercialisation of other indigenous teas in South Africa
Authors:Rampedi, Isaac
Olivier, Jana
Periodical:International Journal of African Renaissance Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/18186870902840309
Abstract:The commercial value of indigenous South African animal and plant resources can add significantly to the nation's socioeconomic development and contribute towards the achievement of the goals of the African Renaissance. However, very few of the country's many indigenous plants have been successfully commercialized. This article reviews the development phases of one success story: rooibos tea. Its development trajectory offers a useful lesson in the commercialization of other South African indigenous animal and plant resources. Constraints that hindered the effective commercialization of the beverage are highlighted, notably the initial over-reliance on a local market and the lack of coordinated broad marketing and quality assurance. These constraints were compounded by international trade restrictions imposed on South Africa prior to the 1994 transition to democracy. While the world moved forward, the rooibos tea sector lagged behind in the development of niche markets. It was only in the late 1990s when a seemingly perfect match between the health-giving properties of rooibos and consumer needs was achieved, thus creating a vibrant niche market for the tea. Since then, production and sales of rooibos tea have increased markedly. Adherence to national and international codes of good manufacturing practice, together with the recognition of the importance of fair trade principles regarding the participation of small-scale cooperatives, are becoming increasingly important parameters for product acceptance. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]