Aerial filming with drone produces exciting marketing material for Rooibos

With the growing interest in Rooibos from around the world there is a greater demand for images and footage that show what Rooibos looks like, where it grows and what is involved in the production of this unique product.

Most of the companies that market Rooibos to consumers in over 60 countries want to introduce tea drinkers to the singular world of Rooibos and the spectacular surroundings in which it grows. They send photographers and TV crews from all over the world to capture images of the production process – from sowing the precious seeds to harvesting the mature Rooibos bush.

As Rooibos only grows in the Western Cape of South Africa and nowhere else in the world, interested parties have to travel long distances to see and experience the incomparable Rooibos region. The production process of Rooibos starts in the late summer months of February and March when the seeds are sown in special seed beds. The transplanting of the seedlings into plantations happens during the cooler months of July and August, with the first crop only expected 18 months later. After that the Rooibos plant is harvested once a year between January and April. Hence, it is usually impossible for film makers to capture every aspect of the production process during one trip.

In order to help clients, TV stations and film makers to get their message across to the end-user, Rooibos Ltd has commissioned local professionals to photograph and film every step of the production process. These images and video sequences are now made available to interested parties who want to promote Rooibos to a wider audience.

The use of drones in audio-visual productions has become popular and offers a unique view of the world around us. As drone technology evolves, fresh opportunities for novel angles and perspectives present themselves and offer story tellers an exciting new platform to work from. In March this year a Cape Town based production crew brought the latest in drone technology to Clanwilliam to take aerial shots of Rooibos harvesting, seed beds, drying yards and the Rooibos factory.

In addition, they used the drone inside the factory for the very first time, which brought with it new challenges of confined spaces and electronic interference from factory machinery. In the end, however, the crew was able to capture exciting new footage of the sifting process, the off-loading of trucks, the storage sheds and even a view inside the extracts factory.

This has enabled Rooibos Ltd to add a new collection of remarkable video clips and stills to its image library that will soon be used in local and international video presentations.

Above: Camera operator Trevor McPerson and drone pilot Lodewick van den Berg are seen here using their experience and skill to capture interesting video footage of the Rooibos production process.

Text: René Hermans