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"Essential Oils and Vegetable Oils are our Business
Accelerating Enterprise Development is our Passion"

What's in a name?

By the early 19 th century, Europe (France in particular), had acquired an appreciation for the fragrance and applications of rose oil but it was in short supply. 

Colonisation gave the French access to the fragrant "fynbos" plants of the Southern Cape, and in the 1820's French researchers began experimenting with the hybridisation of various Pelargonium species from South Africa (or geraniums) as they believed them to be. A hybrid Pelargonium that produced a beautiful dark green, heavily rose scented essential oil resulted. The plant has been named in many different ways but we believe it to be the "African Rose". Variations of these cultivars have found their way all over the world and form the basis of the modern geranium oil industry. 

Geranium oil is one of the ingredients in many modern, expensive cosmetics and perfumes. At the right price and quality, it is in high demand by the major multinational fragrance and cosmetics companies. 

Many regions and countries have attempted to grow it over the years with varying degrees of success. Not withstanding the many challenges of the recent past, momentum is gradually but steadily increasing for successful production in South Africa, and today we are one of the world leaders in organic geranium oil production. In addition our conventional oil is a novel combination of price and quality. 

Our Vision

A vibrant South African essential oil industry, respected by the international community, based largely on organic and "fair trade" certified emerging farmers. 

Our Mission

To provide a comprehensive range of technical, agronomic, marketing and business training support services to emerging farmers nationwide to ensure reliable essential oil production, thereby enhancing their commercial success and future economic security. 

Corporate Structure

African Rose comprises:
African Rose Farming Pty Ltd
African Rose Oils cc 

Company Registration
African Rose Farming Pty Ltd
Reg No. 2002/003579/07

Directors, Majority Members & Shareholders
Dr Robin Learmonth
Mr Charles Wyeth 

BEE Status

African Rose Oils cc is a majority black owned company with a level 3 BEE rating and a BEE procurement recognition level of 110%


Between them the directors have over 30 years experience in:

  • The South African essential oil industry.
  • Collaborating with emerging and commercial essential oil farmers.
  • Farming essential oils.
  • Trading internationally in essential oils.
  • Participating in corporate social responsibility programmes aimed specifically at specialised emerging essential oil farmer programmes.
  • Facilitating community development and communal enterprise establishment processes for essential oil production.

History of African Rose Essential Oils

African Rose Farming (Pty) Ltd. and African Rose Oils cc were incorporated via a management buy-out, restructuring and renaming of Earthoil South Africa Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of British-owned international group of companies, Earthoil Plantations. Earthoil Plantations is in turn owned by Treatt Plc, a public company on the London Stock Exchange, specializing in essential oil trading and value-addition. 

Earthoil SA was a member of the Earthoil Plantations Group for 4 years and the management buyout became possible through a rationalisation of Earthoil activities. 

Earthoil South Africa was created out of a CSIR project to investigate the rejuvenation of the South African essential oil industry starting in 1996, 

This CSIR project represented an approximate R10 million investment into the agronomy, production and marketing of essential oils, in collaboration with one of the oldest and most highly regarded agricultural research institutes in the world Rothamstead Research 

African Rose Essential Oil Business Model

The foundation of the African Rose business model is three different but highly complementary commercial activities:

  • Operating our own 20ha organic geranium oil farming activity in Rustenburg
  • Trading in international and domestic essential and vegetable oil markets
  • Providing technology, agronomic, marketing and business training support services to emerging essential oil farmers and their public and private sector funding institutions.


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