>>> THE HONEYBUSH STORY....
A vision for the honeybush industry: Joyene Isaacs, chairperson Agricultural Research Council Board | Former HOD Western Cape Department of Agriculture, March 2021
"Honeybush is one of the crops that we as South Africans have not appreciated fully. We should discover this tea and talk about
our honeybush tea. That would be our best marketing tool."
In a recent interview, Joyene Isaacs, chairperson Agricultural Research Council Board (2021), emphasised that the honeybush industry needs a marketing strategy, supported by sustained funding for at least five to ten years, along with a dedicated specialist marketing team to execute it. She stressed that such a strategic approach would be critical to ensure the development of a sustainable industry. The challenge for industry role players is how they should
"take it to the next level". She highlighted five key aspects that should be considered to ensure the development of the industry.
A parallel system of research and effective consumer communication.
An improved organisational structure to ensure the effective two-way flow of information between researchers, the agricultural sector and the commercial sector.
Funding to help mitigate the risks of farming with a new crop.
Production volume is critical. Volume is required for effective marketing; however, a market for the product is also required. "Marketing and volume go hand-in-hand. Local market development is not receiving sufficient attention and investment. Product quality is also linked to volume, as well as marketing."
The documentation and use of indigenous technical knowledge.
It is important to understand that marketing and volume go hand in hand, Isaacs explains. "We are not paying enough attention to development of local and global markets, but at the same time we have to deliver enough product of a consistently high quality", she adds. Isaacs emphasises that honeybush tea has the potential to become 'irresistible', provided we can achieve sufficient volumes and consistent quality.
"All the answers are available, but you need a specialist to put it together in a plan that delivers a pull and a push. Research is the push factor that can get a high-quality product to market, but markets are needed to pull products off the shelf." – Joyene Isaacs, Chairperson of the ARC Board, says a strategic marketing plan is key to the development of the honeybush industry. Isaacs was actively involved in the establishment of SAHPA (later SAHTA) in the late 1990s and the development of the honeybush tea industry. Photo supplied by ARC.
Honeybush information stand during a National Science and Technology week celebration in Soweto, 28 July 2012. Photo supplied by ARC.
A lasting honeybush legacy * What is in a name?
From crop to cup
First records of a local cottage industry
Dr Hannes de Lange: A reflection on the pioneering days
Cyclopia genistoides – a story that originated at the foot of Table Mountain
The advancing role of research in growing the honeybush industry
Research on honeybush cultivation
Research on honeybush tea processing
Local growth and the start of an international footprint
Looking into the future … Dr Hannes de Lange, Pioneer of the formal honeybush industry, December 2020
A honeybush timeline: milestones, highlights and interesting snippets
Sources of information