Read about Rooibos Ltd's second successful installation of solar panels to cut electricity costs, and about the SA High Commission in Colombo's celebration of South Africa's democracy with Rooibos adding flair to the event. New product developments with Rooibos abound – from KWV's 'natural' Pinotage to Stellenbrau's Rooibos beer. Also see the global expos that Rooibos Ltd attended to spread the story of Rooibos. Enjoy the read with a cup of Rooibos next to you…

Rooibos Ltd cuts costs with more solar panels

Reducing its environmental footprint, saving on electricity costs and capitalising on Clanwilliam's sunny weather – this, according to Rooibos Ltd's Managing Director Martin Bergh, is what the installation of Rooibos Ltd's second solar system is all about. The company has just expanded the solar system on the roofs of its warehouses to 1 MW as part of its 'green' strategy.

View YouTube clip.

SA High Commission in Colombo celebrates democracy - with Rooibos adding flavour

In November last year, the SA High Commission in Colombo organised a four-day event to celebrate 20 years of freedom and democracy in South Africa. Guests enjoyed South African food, music, wine and, of course, Rooibos. Tharanga Cooray, Rooibos Ltd's Sales Manager in Sri Lanka, made contact with various potential customers at the event.

See photographs.

Rooibos Ltd receives award from Clanwilliam Chamber of Commerce

On 4 December 2014, the Clanwilliam Chamber of Commerce honoured Rooibos Ltd with a Special Award for the exceptional role that the company played in securing geographical indicator status for Rooibos, for supporting Clanwilliam's 200-year anniversary and for preserving the region's history through the new Rooibos exhibition at the Clanwilliam Museum.

Attending the event were Riaan van Zyl, vice-chairperson of Clanwilliam's Chamber of Commerce, Gerda de Wet, Rooibos Ltd's Communication Manager, and Ilse Lochner, chairperson of the Chamber of Commerce.

Also read Clanwilliam se jaarlikse Sakekamer toekennings in the regional newpaper Ons Kontrei.

Report-back on Rooibos Ltd's exhibition in Taipei in 2014

"The popularity of Rooibos is growing in most Asian countries. We expect to see an increase in enquiries from Taiwan and other Asian countries," says Gerda de Wet, Communication Manager at Rooibos Ltd, after attending the Taiwan International Tea, Coffee & Wine Expo in Taipei in November 2014. She joined KJN Partners Limited, the representatives of Rooibos Ltd in Taiwan in their booth. See photographs.

Report-back on Rooibos Ltd's exhibition at Gulfood in Dubai in February 2015

"Gulfood allowed Rooibos Ltd to network, to create more awareness of the product and to continue educating people about Rooibos. We also used the expo to introduce new product applications such as capsules (pods) and instant iced tea," explained Arend Redelinghuys, Marketing Director at Rooibos Ltd. Read more.

Hosting visitors from the USA, Sri Lanka and the UK

From California in the USA: Numi Teas

Numi Teas CEO Ahmed Rahim and COO Brian Durkee visited Rooibos Ltd during February this year. Based in California, USA, Numi Teas is the largest seller of Fairtrade teas in the United States. The company's vision is to celebrate people, nurture growth, embrace possibilities and drive positive change. See photographs.

From Texas in the USA: Cat Spring Teas

Abianne Miller Falla, founder of Cat Spring Teas, and her husband stopped at Rooibos Ltd while on their honeymoon in South Africa. For a tea lover such as Abianne, learning more about the unique product that Rooibos tea is, was the perfect honeymoon activity. See photographs.

From Sri Lanka: Amazon Tea

Sampath Amarasena, General Manager: Tea and Tea Value Addition, and Suranga Herath, CEO of Amazon Tea, visited Rooibos Ltd all the way from Sri Lanka to learn more about the origins of Rooibos. A major player in the market, they were treated to a tour of a Rooibos farm and the Rooibos Ltd facilities. They even tried their hand at harvesting. See photographs.

From Newbury in the UK: Wistbray

Wistbray Tea Times Trading, packers of the famous Tick Tock Rooibos Tea, visited us earlier this year. Director Patrick Busse, Bruce Ginsberg (a grandchild of Benjamin Ginsberg who is known as the father of Rooibos tea) and his wife Karen spent the day watching the harvesting and processing of Rooibos and discussing the nature of the industry. See photographs.

KWV launches the world's first 'natural' Pinotage wine

South Africa's KWV is using Rooibos bark to make a Pinotage called Earth's Essence. This Pinotage has no sulphites or added preservatives. To make this wine, KWV used a patented process that relies on the powerful anti-oxidants in indigenous Rooibos and Honeybush wood to protect the wine naturally. This is how the media reported on the release of the wine.

Stellenbosch craft brewery produces world's first Rooibos beer

Stellenbosch craft brewery Stellenbrau recently made headlines with its Governor's Red - the world's first beer made with indigenous Rooibos and Honeybush. Explains head brewer, Stephen De Jager: "This isn't just beer with Rooibos added to it. Flavour development happens over time as the beer is exposed to the indigenous plant material."

Read more.

SASKO launches a new range of speciality loaves

Understanding the ever-growing needs of the South African consumer, SASKO has launched a range of speciality dumpy loaves. This low-GI SASKO Plus+ range includes Rosehip & Honeybush Brown Bread. Honeybush, indigenous to Southern Africa, is a tealeaf with similarities to Rooibos.

Read more.

Watch video of Rooibos Ltd's MD interview on KykNET

On 21 January this year, Martin Bergh, Managing Director of Rooibos Ltd, was interviewed on Dagbreek, KykNET's early morning programme. He said that globally, the demand for Rooibos is growing. Currently, the demand for Rooibos is exceeding supply, which will increase the price of Rooibos. Approximately 50% of the Rooibos is consumed in Southern Africa. The biggest importers of Rooibos are Germany, the USA, UK and Japan.

Watch YouTube clip here.

Rapport: Teatime - the story of Rooibos

When Benjamin Ginsberg arrived in Clanwilliam after the war more than a century ago, he realised the potential of Rooibos and decided that the whole world should drink Rooibos. Journalist Boris Gorelik recently wrote a story, titled Teetyd: Rooibos 110, in the Afrikaans newspaper Rapport. You can also read the article in English here.

Elsenburgforum interviews Rooibos Ltd's MD and Communication Manager

Elsenburgforum recently interviewed Rooibos Ltd's Managing Director Martin Bergh and Communication Manager Gerda de Wet. They talked about the increasing demand for Rooibos, ascribing this to growing health consciousness among consumers and South African retail chains moving into Southern Africa. They also discussed global markets, new product developments and the Rooibos Route. Listen to the interview in Afrikaans here.

Lechitel exhibits at Salon De Vin in Sofia, Bulgaria

Last year, Vanessa Calvert, South Africa's ambassador to Bulgaria, sold Rooibos as part of the annual Christmas Charity Bazaar of the Ambassadors in Sofia. She expressed her gratitude to Lechitel, Rooibos Ltd.'s client in Bulgaria, for providing boxes of Rooibos, Green Rooibos and Honeybush as a present for the table of South African Embassy at the bazaar. All the money raised from its sales went to orphans and children from poor families. Rooibos has gained popularity in Bulgaria over the past 15 years. See photographs.

Fair-Grounds Foundation care centre opened in Sri Lanka

Axxent Masters in Tea, a client of Rooibos Ltd's office in Sri Lanka, attended the opening of the new Fair-Grounds Foundation child care centre at Vellaioya Estate in Sri Lanka. The centre looks after some 40 children of employees working on the estate. Funds for this project were mainly acquired through the sales of Sunleaf® tea. See photographs.

Rooibee Red Tea Company celebrates 5 years of business

Five years ago, the Kentucky-based Rooibee Red Tea company started out selling organic bottled Rooibos at farmers' markets. Today, the company produces a wide range of ready-to-drink Rooibos teas for children as alternatives to sugary juices. Its Rooibee Roo has just been selected as one of the best products for children for 2015. Read more.

Numi Tea founders honoured for sustainable entrepreneurship

Numi Organic Tea's co-founders and siblings Ahmed and Reem Rahim received the Entrepreneurs of the Year Award at the third annual Start Something Champions Gala, hosted by Jersey City non-profit Rising Tide Capital. The entrepreneurs were honoured for their inspirational leadership and for pursuing Fair Trade and Fair Labour practices. Read more.

Rooibos Ltd to exhibit in the USA, China and Vietnam

To continue building the reputation of Rooibos in various parts of the world, Rooibos Ltd will be hosting stands at these exhibitions: World Tea Expo at Long Beach, USA, from 6 to 8 May 2015; SIAL China in Shanghai from 6 to 8 May 2015; and the Tea & Coffee World Cup Asia in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, from 10 to 12 June 2015.

Acknowledging loyal service

Ragel Beukes was honoured for her loyalty over 20 years at Rooibos Ltd. Five-year service awards went to Elwin Kotze, Zolisa Funani, Mthuthuzeli Ndelebe and Gert Seas.

Hennie Swarts, Control Officer: Logistics with Ragel Beukes, General Cleaner.

Zolisa Funani, Pieter Swart, Control Officer: Drying Yard, Gert Seas and Mthuthuzeli Ndelebe

Anton Steyn, Manager: Extraction with Elwin Kotze, Operator: Extraction

Anton Steyn joined Rooibos Ltd in November 2014 as Manager: Extraction. "The experience I have gained in the dairy industry serves me well in this new position. I really appreciated the willingness of the people at Rooibos Ltd. to help me settle in. You won't easily find this kind of hospitality in big cities." Anton is engaged. He loves fishing, people, movies, music and "anything I can do with my hands".

Andriëtte Muller joined Rooibos Ltd in January 2015 as Personnel Officer in the Human Resources Division. "As a human resources practitioner I get my sense of achievement from finding ways to create a better and more efficient work environment," says Andriëtte. She holds an Honours degree in Industrial and Organisational Psychology. She and her husband have two daughters. Andriëtte loves gardening, cooking, music and DIY projects.

Saying goodbye to Rita van Lill

Rita van Lill is retiring after 27 years at Rooibos Ltd's remuneration department. "Tannie Rita" will be remembered for her meticulousness, caring and kind-heartedness. The staff presented her with a Pandora bracelet as a farewell gift. The charms were chosen as symbols of Rita's values and interests. She filled a special place in the hearts of the people at Rooibos Ltd.

Rooibos Ltd enjoys year-end function at Muisbosskerm

On 19 December 2014, all staff members of Rooibos Ltd attended a function at Muisbosskerm in Lamberts Bay. This was organised to show appreciation for the year's hard work and effort. Take a look at the photographs here.