The South African Tea and Coffee Industry highlights current conditions and discusses the factors influencing the success of the sector. Thirty-nine companies involved in the relevant agricultural, manufacturing, wholesale and retail sub-sectors are profiled. Companies include coffee manufacturer Nestlé South Africa, which dominates the coffee sector with 37% of the market by value. Also profiled are National Brands, Unilever and Joekels Tea Packers and Tea Blenders which dominate the tea packing sector with a combined market share of 96%. Profiles for popular retail outlets such as Vida E Caffe Holdings (Pty) Ltd t/a Vida Caffe and The Bubble Tea Company (Pty) Ltd are included in this report.
The South African Tea and Coffee Industry
This report focuses on the South African tea and coffee industry. South Africans consume more than 20,000 tons of coffee, 20 million kilograms of black tea and 7 million kilograms of Rooibos tea annually. The Rooibos industry contributes about R500m to national GDP and directly employs between 4,500 and 5,000 people. In the Honeybush sector approximately 180 metric tons of Honeybush tea is produced, with 90% exported in bulk form, limiting the annual value of the crop to just over US$250,000. The retail value of the entire tea market is estimated at more than R2.1bn.
Uneconomical Local Production
Domestic black tea and coffee production have become uneconomical, mainly as a result of high labour costs. Black tea producers have been under severe financial difficulties since 2000 and in the beginning of 2003 most of the tea estates in the country went out of production. The six tea estates that remain are struggling to survive and only remain operational because they receive funding from the state. In the coffee sector, most of the 20,000 tons of coffee consumed comes from imported coffee beans. The few coffee farms that still function have managed to survive by establishing roasteries and catering to the tourism market.