Wupperthal Rooibos Farmers, founded in 1998, is an organization of 60 native small farmers, residents of the town of Wupperthal and eleven small surrounding villages. The organization’s activity centers around agriculture and the production of the Rooibos drink.

The Wupperthal producers make Rooibos in their own facilities, saving money on intermediaries and achieving fairer and higher prices. Lastly it is sold at Tea Court so that it is done in a place managed by a committee chosen by the producers themselves. After drying it, crushing it, and storing it, the local business Tolbos packages the Rooibos in individual bags so that Coetzee & Coetzee (City of Cabo) can sell and export it.

Two South African organizations participate in the Rooibos production. The organizations bring together over 175 families of small farmers, the majority of who are people of color, in values of respect, dignity, and change. This way, a new reality is achieved in the country after centuries of racial division and oppression.

Fair Trade provides these families with higher prices in comparison with the conventional market, favoring reinvestment in the community. Similarly, the Cuban cooperative Jose Marti (producer of citrus and other fruits) provides its workers with benefits like health insurance, training, and microfinance programs.

Fotografías: SETEM

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