Finweek English Edition - - LIFESTYLE - Kris­tia van Heer­den

We are a pretty lucky na­tion. The world ad­mires our po­lit­i­cal Cin­derella story, we have very good wine at rea­son­able prices, our sum­mers are warm and our win­ters mild. We are also the only na­tion in the world to pro­duce rooi­bos tea. While we take our daily dose of rooi­bos for granted, 50% of rooi­bos tea har­vested an­nu­ally is ex­ported to in­ter­na­tional mar­kets, with the Ger­mans most ea­ger to get their hands on it. South Africa pro­duces 10 000 to 15 000 tons of rooi­bos tea a year, worth be­tween R150m and R200m in raw form. Once pro­cessed, the tea is worth be­tween R200m and R300m a year.

Richard Bow­sher is one of the in­spired minds be­hind BOS Brands, the man­u­fac- tur­ers of BOS ice tea. The tea for BOS ice tea is har­vested on Bow­sher’s farm, but he be­lieves it’s a mis­take to sim­ply sup­ply raw ma­te­rial to an in­ter­na­tional mar­ket.

“South Africa shouldn’t be ex­port­ing rooi­bos tea in its raw form so that large global bev­er­age com­pa­nies can pro­duce ice tea and sell it back to us at ex­or­bi­tant prices,” he says.

“The key to strength­en­ing our econ­omy is for lo­cal com­pa­nies to add value to th­ese raw ma­te­ri­als by cre­at­ing great prod­ucts within our bor­ders. We should not only sell them to South Africans, but also ex­port the fi­nal prod­ucts to the global mar­ket.”

The tea, which is only farmed in the Ceder­berg re­gion of the Western Cape, has many health benef its when con­sumed as a tea, but is also used in ev­ery­thing from cos­met­ics and baby food to spices and wine. This might ex­plain why In­ven­fin, a di­vi­sion of Rem­gro Limited along with re­tired Manch­ester United Football Club man­ager Sir Alex Fer­gu­son de­cided to in­vest in Bos Brands.

Richard Bow­sher

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.