The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) is to host a conference that will track progress made in the natural ingredients industry.
“Natural ingredients sectors hold great potential for South Africa. Global cosmetics, health and food markets are growing, in particular for natural products,” said Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe.
The conference, which will be held from 15 to 16 October, will review the Natural Ingredients and Cosmetics Products Export Strategy.
The strategy was developed by the dti in 2015 in partnership with the Centre for the Promotion of Imports (CBI), an agency of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The export strategy encourages the production of ingredients that comply with international market requirements and stimulate local value-addition in the production of organic or natural cosmetics products in a business-enabling environment.
Magwanishe said the strategy is in line with the dti’s Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP).
“We have been implementing the Natural Ingredients and Cosmetics Products Export Strategy in partnership with our Dutch partners for the past three years.
“The strategy was aimed at growing the exports of natural ingredients including vegetable and essential oils, improving the competitiveness of the industry to increase exports, and promoting the transformation and inclusiveness of the sector in order to open up economic opportunities to previously disadvantaged individuals and emerging small businesses,” he said.
He said the conference will provide a platform for all stakeholders to exchange ideas on progress made through the implementation of the strategy and to review its success as the partnership with CBI comes to an end this year.
Magwanishe stressed that consumers view natural products as safer and healthier alternatives to synthetic ones.
“South African producers supply a broad range of natural ingredients for the cosmetics, health and food sectors,” said Magwanishe, adding that the South African natural ingredients sector is an attractive one to invest in.
“The dti has worked with CBI to inform companies, investors and policy-makers in South Africa about the potential of South African natural ingredients and how to leverage this potential.”
Natural ingredients produced in South Africa currently include indigenous species like aloe ferox, buchu, marula, baobab, honey bush, rooibos and the devil’s claw.
Focus areas of discussion at the conference to be held at the Industrial Development Corporation conference centre in Sandton will include sustainable supply of natural ingredients, manufacturing, legislation and regulations, research development and innovation and commercialisation. – SAnews.gov.za