Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, awarded to tea or ‘red bush’ at the end of last month, means that only leaves grown in the southeastern Cederberg region of South Africa can be sold like “rooibos” in EU countries and several others outside the bloc.

PDO status – intended to protect the name and authenticity of unique, geographically linked products – will allow producers to limit competition from a growing range of non-genuine rooibos teas that have emerged amid growing demand for the high-protein brew. antioxidants and caffeine free.

A major “victory” for the rooibos industry

“This gives us the opportunity to market rooibos in a much more aggressive way,” South African Rooibos Council director Nicie Vorster told AFP on Wednesday.

The request for a special label was made a decade ago and marks a major “victory” for the industry, he added.

South Africa produces an average of 15,000 tonnes of rooibos per year, according to the council, mostly in the rocky Cederberg mountain range.

International popularity and health benefits

The reddish, needle-shaped leaves are brewed into a sweet earthy drink popular with locals.

Rooibos leaves are also mixed with other teas for aromatic infusions, inserted into coffee capsules to make “red cappuccinos” and used as a base for beauty products.

Lauded for its health benefits, rooibos has gained international popularity over the past two decades.

SA exports half of its rooibos production

South Africa now exports around half of its bulk production to Japan, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, among others.

Vorster said the Rooibos Council now plans to contact the World Trade Organization to extend the new tea protection to the global market.

The EU’s victory “puts us on the right track to achieve this,” he said.

By © Agence France Presse

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This notice was published: 2021-06-09 20:12:51


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