Emerging Essential Oil Farmer Support Services
Although the Company provides technical support and other consulting services to commercial farmers, its primary focus is that of small and emerging farmer development and support.
African Rose has considerable experience in all the elements of the enterprise development curve experienced by essential oil farmers.
As a Company we believe emerging essential oil farmers in South Africa can play a significant role in the international essential oil markets in the near future if they receive the appropriate integrated support services to provide what they must have access to, and what they need to know, to succeed.
Our business model to facilitate the development of SA emerging essential oil farmers to a meaningful status in the eyes of the essential oil markets worldwide is therefore based on:
Firstly, partnering with financing / funding partners that have strategic imperatives to provide support e.g. Corporate Social Investment programmes, mining houses Social Labour Plans and Public Sector Programmes at all levels of Government that are striving to address the economic empowerment and job creation needs of modern day South Africa.
Secondly, forming strategic alliances to secure all the other key elements (besides financing) of a successful essential oil business viz. land; water; infrastructure; technical, agronomic and business training; and access to reliable and supportive markets.
Thirdly, to implement and manage development projects, from planning to commercialisation phases, within the following programmes
- Pre-project implementation education
- Community development interventions to correctly position the project in the community,
- Operational /agronomic training - seedling production, fertilisation, irrigation methods, harvesting etc on our Rustenburg farm and their own sites
- Market development, (understanding what the client wants) - packaging, reliable supply, consistent quality etc
Our Competitive Advantage
What sets African Rose apart from other consultants operating in this market is:
- Our extensive experience of business incubation. Charles Wyeth our director responsible for was a pioneer in small business incubation in post apartheid SA and subsequently became a leading figure is SA Government business incubation initiatives.
- Our skills in technology transfer and management support to small businesses and integrating these businesses into the communities within which they occur.
- Our network of expert service providers specific for the essential oil industry, acquired over 15 years including:
- Agronomic consultants.
- Steam distillation plant construction and commissioning.
- Irrigation system design.
- Our intellectual capital originating from the historical research conducted by the CSIR including:
- The best SA locations and climates for various essential oil crops.
- Chemical insights into the characteristics and quality of essential oils.
- Well established agronomic practices
- Mobile and fixed distillation facility design
- Our own essential oil farm that while operating on strict commercial principles provides a controlled training environment for potential new farmers.
- Our access to guaranteed reliable international markets via the various contracted take off agreements with Earthoil Plantations.
Examples of Our Recent Successes
Participation in a consortium that developed a multi million rand Eastern Cape essential oil project in collaboration with a major mining house. A 40Ha essential oil farm and distillation facility has been established. It started as a green field operation and required installation of 4km of high voltage electricity line, a 40 Ha irrigation pivot, building a distillation facility and land preparation and planting. The first 25 Ha is now in commercial production and volumes of oil are regularly exported.
Collaboration with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture to evaluate establishing an emerging farmer essential oil business in the Dysselsdorp area of the Klein Karoo.
Trading with the Lesotho based The Rosehip Company, which has developed what we believe is one the most equitable community based raw material collection programmes in Southern Africa. Hundreds of rural Lesotho people collect the rose hip seed from the invader species Rosa Eglanteria which are used to make rosehip tea and oil. Earthoil Plantations, via African Rose, buys significant volumes of seed and oil annually. Collectors are paid cash on collection. A major reason for the market success is our ability to demonstrate to European buyers the impact of the project on the local people and the ethics and true economic empowerment of the business relationship between processor and collector.
Conceptulisation and implementation and subsequent transfer of the Seda Essential Oil Business Incubator, the only current Government sponsored essential business incubator in SA.
Collaboration with TechnoServe SA, the local office of the international development agency for the implementation of a large scale trial in the Lekatela area, North West Province, to evaluate the viability of organic geranium oil production by the community.
This project is now receiving support from the Bojanala Platinum District Municipality and African Rose Oils has been contracted by the municipality to provide ongoing training and mentoring to the members of the participating co-operative, Lekatela Mmanare Multi-Purpose Agricultural Co-operative
Ongoing discussion with the Mbomela District Municipality to develop a business and implementation plan for a major essential oil project in the Mbombela Municipal area.