On 21 May, the global tea industry celebrates World Tea Day to promote sustainable production and consumption of tea. With several sustainability initiatives, Cape Natural Tea Products has shown continued commitment to the ideals of World Tea Day.
The Rooibos plant, grown only in South Africa, is part of the Fynbos biome. This ecoregion is one of six biodiversity hotspots in the world, and of those six, the Fynbos biome is the smallest and the richest.
25% of Africa's plant species can be found in the Fynbos biome, even though it only covers 3% of Africa's land area.
It is thus greatly important that the cultivation of Rooibos is done in such a way that protects this incredible biodiversity.
The Rooibos industry as a whole has established the Greater Cederberg Biodiversity Corridor (GCBC), alongside NGOs and the South African government. Roughly 70 405 ha in the area is now under conservation through stewardship agreements with a further 282 953 ha conserved under voluntary agreements.
Cape Natural Tea Products also plays an active role in promoting sustainable farming initiatives. Our agri division offers on-farm advice, encouraging producers to adopt best practice farming methods.
Our agri division also takes part in extensive research on sustainable chemical-free farming practices. We are excited about new products such as soil regenerators, improving soil health and removing pressure on virgin Fynbos lands.
The protected wilderness in the Rooibos farming area has also led to the development of a vibrant eco-tourism industry, which creates a vital source of economic activity.
Sustainability is also about caring for the communities in the Rooibos farming area. Many communities have not been spared from South Africa's low economic growth and high unemployment rate.
Cape Natural Tea Products engages in several Social Responsibility projects in disadvantaged communities. In 2020, we donated 250 pairs of school shoes to a primary school in Graafwater.
Through our network of farmers, and at our processing courts and depots, we provide valuable employment opportunities in line with South Africa's progressive labour policies enshrined in our country's constitution.
We believe that through sustainable growth, the Rooibos industry has incredible potential to make a positive impact on the well-being of communities throughout the area.
This World Tea Day, we celebrate these sustainability efforts. We are excited to see the Rooibos industry grow in a sustainable way, offering our clients around the world a responsibly sourced product!