The South African Tea and Coffee Industry highlights current conditions and trends, provides information on imports and exports, and discusses the factors influencing the success of the sector. Profiles for 35 companies involved in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors of the industry are provided. Included is Chicory SA (Pty) Ltd, a company that supplies several coffee manufacturers with chicory, an important input to mixed ground and mixed instant coffees. Also profiled are Beaver Creek (Pty) Ltd, Assagay Coffee and Sabie Valley Coffee, three companies that farm the coffee plant, Coffea, and then roast, blend and distribute their coffee products.
The South African Tea and Coffee Industry
Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries statistics show that the value of black tea production has declined considerably from R30.14m eight years ago to R5.16m in the 2016/2017 season. In contrast to the black tea sector where only three black tea estates remain in production, the herbal tea sector has grown. The coffee sector has also grown, with consumption of coffee beans increasing from 29,760 tons in 2012/13 to 35,400 tons in 2015/16. Demand for premium coffees is illustrated by the growth in the number of coffee roasteries and coffee shops across the country; South Africa now has more than 100 roasteries compared to fewer than 20 roasteries ten years ago.
A Thriving Rooibos Tea Sector
The Rooibos sector provides income and employment to approximately 8,000 farm labourers and further employment is also created in downstream activities. Over the past ten years Rooibos production has been between 10,000 tons and 18,000 tons annually. As a result of increasing global demand for Rooibos, 2016 exports amounted to more than 6,000 tons. Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States are the biggest importers of Rooibos tea. Although only 200 tons of Honeybush tea is produced annually by ten growers, this tea is becoming more popular in overseas markets and more than 80% of the total crop is exported to 25 countries.