The innovative commercial applications of Rooibos and Honeybush
Rooibos and Honeybush, which are both endemic to South Africa, are among the most widely cultivated commercial-used botanical species originating in the country, with more than 300 trademarks and 20 patents to their names. In October this year, the South African Rooibos Council's Ernest du Toit and fellow South African Rooibos and Honeybush producers presented talks on the patents and trademarks of these plant products at the 56th general assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Providing another example of how Rooibos and Honeybush can be applied commercially, Red Dawn IP Holdings, which is owned by beverage companies Audacia Wines and KWV, has developed a method of preserving alcoholic beverages using indigenous Rooibos and Honeybush wood chips instead of sulphites. This innovation is a "huge potential game changer" in the alcoholic beverages industry. Red Dawn IP Holdings director and Audacia owner Trevor Strydom has lodged patent applications in 83 jurisdictions worldwide to ensure that South African alcoholic beverage producers have the exclusive mandate to create wine, beer and cider using indigenous Rooibos and Honeybush materials in varying forms.