South African Essential Oil Producers’ Association
Global demand for products from the natural ingredients sector (which includes essential and vegetable oils) continues to reflect a strong upward trend, having increased by an average of 15% from 2018 to 2019. South Africa, with its rich diversity of flora and entrepreneurial farmers, is extremely well positioned to exploit this opportunity. South African Essential Oil Producers’ Association (SAEOPA) has been formed by the farming community to assist existing and potential farmers in this sector. The Association represents growers, processors and distributors as well as ancillary product and service providers.
Who is SAEOPA
SAEOPA is a non-profit organisation that was established in 2000 with the objective to:
- Promote essential oils and natural plant products’ production, processing and export
- Represent and promote the interests of members and the industry
- Collect, collate and disseminate salient information
- Be the unified and independent mouthpiece of the industry
- Facilitate the coordination of the industry’s activities
- Promote research to expand the national and regional industry
- Facilitate the sustainability of and increase the competitiveness of members, the national and the regional industry
- Empower members via training, workshops, conferences, trade missions, etc.
- Perform such functions as may be desirable for the attainment of these objectives.
SAEOPA offers membership and value-adding services to:
- Producers (growers)
- Distributors and exporters
- Academic and research institutions
- Test laboratories
- Other stakeholders within the value chain
- Other interested parties.
Services for members & the industry
The services provided for members include:
- Access to Members’ section on SAEOPA’s new, interactive website (launch date 1 March 2020)
- Advocacy on behalf of the industry and its members
- Calendar of events, including trade shows
- Discounted rates on events such as the annual conference, workshops and networking events
- General advice and guidance
- Industry reports on trends, developments and statistics
- Initiatives to improve the quality of oils produced in Southern Africa
- Initiatives to increase the volume of locally-produced essential and vegetable oils
- Invitations to and voting at general meetings
- Liaison with local and international role players in the industry, including government departments, parastatal organisations, international organisations, and tertiary and research and institutions
- Market intelligence and trade leads
- Membership certificate and use of the SAEOPA logo
- Networking events
- Preferential treatment of sponsorship and advertising opportunities.
Expert user-pay services are also available:
- Business plans
- Consultation and individual, item-specific enquiries
- Crop and specie advice
- Feasibility studies
- Project management
- Research studies and market/industry information
- Support services for specific projects.
SAEOPA Partnerships & Collaborations
SAEOPA co-operates and partners with many types of organisations which includes national and provincial government institutions such as the Departments of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform (DARDLR); Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF); Health (DoH); Science and Technology (DST); and Trade and Industry (the dti), and parastatals such as AgriSETA; the Small Business Development Agency (SEDA) and the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). In addition, SAEOPA partners and co-operates with institutions of higher learning and research, e.g. universities and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). There are international co-operation partners such as the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the United Nations Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). SAEOPA also collaborates with parties in support of the industry such as the South African Quality Institute (SAQI).
SAEOPA’s board resolved that the following projects should be pursued during 2020, with the three-pronged objective of promoting the industry, assisting growers and generating income for the Association:
- Finding off-takers for new and established growers’ products.
- Collecting “weeds” such as Kalahari melon from farmers’ fields prior to the summer planting season, and processing and selling it.
- Export promotion and assistance to members.
- Improving the quality of locally produced oils.
In addition to the above, the Association provides active support toward diverse initiatives to the benefit of the industry, examples:
The Global Quality and Standards Programme – South Africa (GQSP-SA), funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which aims to strengthen the quality of essential and vegetable oils exports from South Africa.
The Programme focuses on the following species and products:
|ESSENTIAL OILS||VEGETABLE OILS|
|Buchu oil||Baobab oil|
|Cape chamomile oil||Kalahari melon seed oil|
|Helichrysum oil||Manketti/Mongongo seed oil|
|Lippia oil||Marula oil|
|Rose Geranium oil||Ximenia oil|
The ABS Compliant Biotrade in South(ern) Africa (ABioSA) project, funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and implemented by the ABS Capacity Development Initiative (www.abs-initiative.info) under the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). This project also assists selected local producers’ to comply with the regulatory requirements for trade with the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA).
The project focuses on the following species and products:
- Baobab Seed Oil
- Buchu essential oil
- Cape camomile essential oil
- Helichrysum essential oil
- Kalahari melon seed oil
- Lippia javanica essential oil
- Mafura seed oil and butter (Trichilia emetica)
- Marula seed oil
- Mongongo seed oil
- Rose geranium essential oil
- Ximenia americana and caffra seed oil.
SAEOPA aims to make a tangible and lasting difference to socio-economic matters such as employment creation, exploiting entrepreneurial opportunities, assisting and empowering established and potential farmers, unlocking the potential of the region’s agricultural potential, promoting integrated farming operations, attracting youth entrants to the agricultural sector, empowering women in agriculture and promoting economic development especially in rural areas.
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