As rooibos grows only in the Cederberg, we’re committed to helping protect and preserve this unique habitat. We do this by farming as close to nature as possible, using biodiversity principles, and planting endangered trees back into the region every year.
This exquisite, seemingly untouched area (which is only 110km in radius) forms part of The Cape Floristic Region. The smallest of only six floral kingdoms in the world, it is also the richest. The converging currents of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans render this area an environmentally unique and highly biodiverse region with many plant species – including rooibos – occurring there and nowhere else.
However, the Cederberg is under severe threat. Identified as one of the 25 most threatened biodiversity hotspots in the world, its conservation is now of critical global importance.
In 2009, our primary farm was awarded the highest biodiversity rating in the rooibos industry for farming as close to nature as possible. This means that our tea is grown in a sustainable, environmentally responsible way that has minimal impact on the biodiversity of the region. Although it takes much longer, our mountain tea grows naturally without irrigation. We also plant biodiversity corridors of proteas in between our tea fields to encourage bees to cross-pollinate. We follow organic practices and do not use herbicides, pesticides or irrigation. These are the things that are important to us.
In 2010 we partnered with CapeNature to help save the highly endangered Clanwilliam Cedar tree (after which the Cederberg was named) from extinction. Through our Red Cedar Project, we’ve already planted more than 5000 Cedars back into the Cederberg. “The cedar tree is highly endangered and is one of the most majestic icons of the Cederberg area.” Pete Ethelston, Co-founder.
Every time you buy red espresso you help us plant a tree
We work directly with our farmers and pay a premium price for our single estate tea to ensure that there is sufficient compensation for all who participate in growing and harvesting our rooibos.
In 2014 we launched our Seeds of Hope subsistence farming project to help small scale rooibos subsistence farmers in the faraway mission town of Heuningvlei. With no means to buy rooibos seeds, plough their land or transport their tea to market, we’re changing their lives by doing so for them and upskilling them in best-in-class rooibos farming practices too.
At the end of the production cycle, we guarantee these farmers a consistent, premium price regardless of supply or market trends. The cash injection is unprecedented in the area. One farmer has upgraded his donkey cart to a Hilux; others have opened bank accounts for the first time ever. And what started as a trickle is rapidly becoming a stream. The number of farmers participating in the program has increased exponentially with every passing year and today we work with more than 20 subsistence farmers and buy more than 40 tons of tea from them.
Situated just 45 minutes outside of Cape Town in the Paarl Winelands, our eco-friendly offices and factory have been designed to be as energy efficient as possible. Our investment in solar power means we remove 36 tons of carbon per annum from our carbon footprint! Insulated building blocks and double glazing moderate the temperature so we can minimize our use of air conditioning. Large windows allow for natural light where possible, LED and energy efficient lighting reduce electricity, we use a 40,000-litre rainwater catchment system that minimizes our reliance on municipal water and we have an efficient recycling system for cardboard, plastic and organic waste that reduces landfill.
We are also involved with a number of Giving Back social projects that are very close to our hearts.
We strive to be able to do even more in the future
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