PhytoTrade Africa was established in 2001 as the trade association of the natural products industry in Southern Africa. “Natural products” are products derived from plants indigenous to Southern Africa; they include foods, drinks, oils and ingredients used by the food and cosmetics industries.
We are a non-profit, membership-based organisation representing private sector businesses, development agencies, individuals and other interested parties in eight countries: Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Our purpose is to alleviate poverty and protect biodiversity in the region by developing an industry that is not only economically successful but also ethical and sustainable.
Who we are
We represent producers in: Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. PhytoTrade helps African rural producers develop and market their natural products for export. We are a non-profit trade association that promotes sustainable production and fair trade, contributing to the economic development of southern African countries. Natural products are grown in the wild by rural producers, and include: beverages, cosmetic oils, health care products, herbal teas, jams, nutritional supplements and medicinal products.
PhytoTrade Africa will facilitate the development of a viable and enduring natural products industry in southern Africa, engaged in both domestic and export trade and based on resources accessible to poor rural communities.
By the year 2015:
- The sustainable harvest and production of natural products will be a leading source of income for poor people living rural areas.
- Southern Africa will have developed a reputation for reliability and innovation in the production and supply of high quality, sustainably harvested natural products to global markets.
- PhytoTrade Africa will be the service-provider of first choice to the natural products industry in the region, and will have become an enduring and financially self-sustaining association.
What We Do
PhytoTrade Africa’s role is to help Southern Africa’s natural products industry to achieve rapid growth while ensuring its long term sustainability and social equity. We do this in three key ways: product development, market development and supply chain development. PhytoTrade knows, understands and is at the forefront of ABS issues, and can help partners and clients navigate through ABS in a clear, practical and informed way.
Where necessary we work to overcome regulatory hurdles in order to develop new markets for our members. For example, in 2008 we secured an EU Novel Foods decision that allows our members to supply baobab fruit to the European food and drink market. This is a new and potentially valuable market opportunity, and one which our members were unable to secure independently given the long, complex and costly process involved.
We are increasingly assisting members to achieve organic and Fair Trade certification for their products, enabling them to tap into this growing global market.