A firm South African favourite has been given a high honour in the international food world; Rooibos is now protected by EU Protected Designation of Origin status.
South Africa (10 June 2021) – Step aside Champagne from Champagne, Rooibos from South Africa is the new EU Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) beverage of choice! Just kidding, Champagne can stay too but how great is it that a Proudly South African product has the same status?
What does the EU Protected Designation of Origin status mean? Well, you can only call Champagne, Champagne if it comes from the Champagne region in France, everywhere else it is Sparkling Wine, except for Italy where it is Prosecco which is also a PDO.
Now, producers will only be able to call their Rooibos Tea products Rooibos if they come from the Rooibos producing region of Cedarberg in the Western Cape. They will also get an exclusive stamp that will appear on the packaging.
“The registration will allow rooibos to use the protected designation of origins logo, which is well-recognised by consumers in Europe. The logo will identify rooibos as a unique product.” – Dawie de Villiers, SA Rooibos Council legal director
Rooibos is a firm favourite and boasts many great health benefits too, not only for humans! Overseas where people struggle to pronounce Rooibos, the tea is called Redbush. This too will receive a PDO.
While the status of the tea is on the rise, the most important part of this new protection is to protect its historic background, the traditions and the community that has worked with the tea for generations. The area where the tea is grown is incredibly unique so that too can now be protected.
“As an industry we recognise the close connection between rooibos, the area where it grows, as well as the community and their traditions. Our goal is to protect, support and promote the sustainability of not only rooibos, but the rich heritage of the industry as a whole, which is why we so doggedly pursued the registration.
“Rooibos also forms part of SA’s rich biodiversity, and we believe that the registration will make way for other indigenous species, such as buchu and Aloe ferox to also be indicated as PDOs and reap similar rewards,” said De Villiers.
This is a major win for the industry and South Africa.
How do you take your Rooibos? A splash of milk and honey? A wedge of lemon? Or just plain hot and steamy? It also makes a pretty delicious iced tea when using mint and ginger. Thank us later!