The product Rooibos or red bush has just been included in the register of geographical indications of the European Union where all agricultural and food products are under the seal of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), as reported by the Consumer Organization and Users (OCU ).
Thus, South Africa has finally managed to get the European Union to grant this seal to its popular infusion , a product known for its particular reddish color. In this way, by now having this name, no product can be marketed under this name “that has not been produced in South Africa under the conditions set out by the quality standard,” they add.
What are the advantages of having this denomination?
South African Rooibos is an infusion that is produced “from the leaves and stems of the Aspalathus linearis plant , which are allowed to oxidize in the sun, in a process in which they acquire a characteristic reddish hue”, they detail from the organization. It does not contain caffeine and is very different from tea or other infusions. Also, there is the green Rooibos, which has a somewhat different taste than red and more antioxidant properties.
And what does it mean that it now becomes a product with a Protected Designation of Origin? As specified by the OCU , it is the name that identifies a product with the following characteristics:
Be from a specific place, such as a country or region.
Have fundamental characteristics of a specific geography.
Produced entirely in that geographic area, as is the case in South Africa.
Only products that meet the requirements carry this seal on the label.
In this sense, the name Rooibos will be “more protected” within the European Union from now on. Therefore, “other products that do not meet the requirements (production in South Africa, characteristics …) may not use the name Rooibos”. Consumers who purchase this product will have a guarantee rating on its origin and production method.