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News from the farm

The Rooibos harvest for 2017 had a rapid start with good overall quality. Typical hot summer days with an average of 35⁰ C, ensured that the tea could dry quickly. Many rooibos producers attempted to harvest the bushes before it started loosing too many leaves due to the very dry summer. This has resulted in harvesting ending sooner. Now we are looking forward to having an early winter which usually starts in March /April, especially around the Easter weekend. The area in South Africa where all rooibos tea can be grown, is a winter-rainfall-area with winter months ranging from April to August. Global warming has indicated that this area, especially towards the northern parts, will get increasingly dry with a tendency towards more summer rain. Whilst the Western Cape have not received decent rains (+- 40mm) since September 2016, the northern parts of South Africa which used to be very dry, is experiencing excellent rains. A normal and above normal winter with good rains will surely support the supply of rooibos. With more hectares planted and good rains, volumes should increase, but one year will not be enough to eradicate the shortage. Total volumes for 2017 seems to be very similar to last year and a good winter should put a stop to rooibos price increases.


For Carmién producers the high rooibos price has however helped to put more focus on cultivation practises. Investments have been made in new planting- and soil preparation implements – all to assist in improving the rooibos yield as well as quality. The rooibos bush continues to amaze us with its ability to survive extreme conditions. Across the rooibos producing area in South Africa, the current average rooibos field does not seem to be in a healthy state, but it is quite clear that once a healthy bush with a deep tap-root is established, in well drained sandy soil, it survives and continues to produce good yields with very little resources.


We will continue in good faith to supply you with this ‘wonder-bush’ called rooibos.