farmer agroThe Natural Ingredients and Cosmetics Products Export Strategy, developed by the South African Department of Trade and Investment, encourages the production of natural ingredients that comply with the international market requirements

The strategy aims to increase the exports of natural ingredients including vegetable and essential oils, therefore growing the competitiveness of the industry. It also seeks to and promote the renewal and inclusiveness of the sector. Natural Ingredients produced in South Africa currently include species such as rooibos and the devil’s claw.

Chief director of chemicals, cosmetics, plastics and pharmaceuticals at the Department of Trade and Industry Ms Claudy Steyn said, “It is important to note that the natural ingredients sector is a key segment of the government’s re-industrialisation drive, with vital links to key economic policies such as the National Development Plan, Industrial Policy Action Plan and the New Growth Path. Economic growth needs to accelerate in a more inclusive manner and the natural ingredients sector is one sector that can achieve this. This sector holds great potential for South Africa because the global cosmetics, health and food markets are growing, in particular for natural products.”

She noted that globally, consumers trends are shifting towards more natural products as they see them as safer and healthier than synthetic ones.

“The global presence of the South African products with natural ingredients is currently very low, and this presents an opportunity for natural ingredients producers to build a sustainable and traceable value-chain. Rising agricultural activities in the natural ingredients sector will contribute in the development of an inclusive rural economy. It is important to note that the SA natural ingredients sector has a strong potential to produce natural ingredients for the cosmetics, health and food sectors making the sector attractive to invest in. Production and processing of natural ingredients can stimulate growth and investment in the sector and contribute in boosting the country’s ailing manufacturing sector, thereby creating the much-needed jobs.”