Organic Rooibos

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Commercial products such as pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers harm the environment and can affect produce. Organic farming uses natural materials and products that do not contain chemicals. This farming method also ensures sustainable farming and increases yields.  Through organic farming, farmers are able to learn and understand the natural self-regulating system of nature.

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Rooibos is internationally known for its health benefits and is thus in high demand in overseas markets as South Africa is the only production location of rooibos tea in the world. Over recent years, the demand for organic products has increased significantly as users become more aware of the harmful effects caused by commercially grown products. The demand in organic Rooibos products has thus also increased and has to be certified before being exported. 

 About 10% of rooibos production is certified organic. Certification takes place against standards set in Europe and North America by government and private standard setters, and ensures the consumer of a product that it has been produced naturally, without the use of agricultural chemicals The private organic standard setter Naturland also addresses issues of biodiversity conservation in production areas, and one small-scale producer currently exports Naturland certified rooibos to Europe. (Authors: Yuca Waarts, Michiel Kuit & Noel Oettlé (2010))

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The Rooibos farmers on the Rooibos Heritage Route have been farming organically for years. The farmers feel that this way of farming is cost effective and healthier. Farming Rooibos organically consist of nurturing the soil with natural material such as compost or livestock manure and using sustainable farming methods that increases productivity includes, contour ploughing and natural wind breaks. The rooibos tea produced by the farmers on the route is organically certified.

© Indigo development & change  2015