PhytoTrade Africa recently supported South Africa’s Esse brand of personal care products to attend Expo East trade show in the United States. Trevor Steyn Director of Esse said “With natural and organic cosmetics representing 8% of the total American personal care market (versus the rest of the world which barely reaches 1%), I’ve known for some time that the US offers our brand and Phytotrade Africa, a great opportunity for growth and export”.

Trevor continued “it was a privilege, through the support of PhytoTrade Africa to attend a show such as Expo East, make key contacts and lay down the foundation for sales in this market. As much as I have known about how difficult this market is to crack – it was only after attending that we got a clear picture of the US cosmetic market. The time to take South African developed environmentally responsible brands to the world has arrived. We must grasp it.”

“The US offers our brand and Phytotrade Africa, a great opportunity for growth and export.”

Trevor Steyn,
Director of Esse
John Cheesmond of PhytoTrade Africa noted that the funding was made available under the Project Biotrade programme supported by SECO (the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs). He said “I believe that SECO showed great foresight in providing enabling funding to PhytoTrade to commercialise biotrade in southern Africa. The multiplier effects of increased sales of natural and organic cosmetics from South Africa will be very significant in the lives of rural suppliers of raw materials and the establishment of responsible business practices which will foster the preservation of biodiversity. We are delighted to be able to support an emerging South African producer of natural and organic cosmetics.”

Amanda Lock, Marketing Director of Esse said “It was a daunting task to take our relatively small brand to the US and showcase it amongst some of the most successful brands in the natural personal care market but it was great to be received so well. Never before have our ethics and adherence to organic, ethical and fair trade standards been more important”. Amanda continued “There was a great deal of interest in Africa, our biodiversity and unique plant resources. The use of African Actives in our products and our partnership with PhytoTrade Africa to ensure community development was a key aspect for retailers. I believe we have started the process of developing a successful future for PhytoTrade ingredients and our products in this market”.