The Home of Buchu and Rooibos
Skimmelberg is a well-established company that produces and sells quality packaged retail Organic Buchu and Rooibos tea products, locally and internationally. The company is also a successful Organic bulk Rooibos and Buchu exporter and private label packer locally as well as to many countries around the globe. We are a family-owned company rooted in the local community with extensive experience gained over generations in the production of Buchu and Rooibos products.
As both growers and processors of our own products, we can ensure the highest standards in the entire production process, and as such take pride in the outstanding quality of our products.
We firmly believe in biodiversity-friendly farming methods and are actively promoting sustainable best practice.
We have adopted environmentally friendly farming and production practices, working in harmony with nature by making use of its natural resources.
An example of such practices is the use of organic liquid fertilizer, known as compost tea, made on our farms in the process of vermicomposting; another is the use of carbon-neutral fuel in our essential oil distallation plant.
As a result we have gained certification of our organic products from CERES, an independent certification organization representing the highest international standards for nature-friendly products.
"Biodiversity is Our Contribution"
Greater Cederberg Biodiversity Corridor
We subscribe to the aims of the GCBC, which it states as being essentially about people, the rural communities and landowners, and how they use the land to achieve a common purpose of sustainability, through appropriate conservation and management of the natural resources of this unique and diverse region.
One of the principal goals of the GCBC is to restore and maintain connectivity across the landscape, through voluntary stewardship partnerships with landowners.
In response, we have assigned more than 90% of the land of our farm Waterval to conservation, and as a result, after entering into a stewardship agreement with the public conservation body CapeNature, the Skimmelberg Nature Reserve was brought into being.
Benefit Sharing Agreement
Within our group of companies, we are one of the first to receive a bioprospecting permit in 2013, and one of the first to reach a Buchu BSA, Benefit Sharing Agreement, with the San and the Khoi-Khoi, as the traditional knowledge holders of the various beneficial uses of the Buchu plant.
The flower depicted on the Skimmelberg logo is that of the aptly named Protea Magnifica. Commonly known as the Queen Protea, its exquisite flowerhead is the second largest of all Protea species.
Its presence on our farm Waterval constitutes the westernmost occurrence of this species in the fynbos biome of the Cape Floral Kingdom.
It grows on the peak of Skimmelberg, the mountain on Waterval after which our enterprise is named.
Our Farms as part of a World Heritage Site
Fynbos is the species-rich principal vegetation type of the Cape Floral Kingdom, which was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2004. Fynbos includes Buchu and Rooibos, both of which are endemic to the Cederberg region. Both occur naturally on our farms on the slopes of the Skimmelberg Mountain, named after the dapple-grey appearance of its rock-strewn peak.
Buchu has been harvested on our farms in the wild for the better part of a hundred years, originally in bags carried down the mountain on foot or by donkeys. Rooibos joined Buchu more recently as a crop, when it became popular early in the first half of the last century.
Today Buchu and Rooibos are cultivated rather than wild-harvested on our farms, in a sustainable way to ensure an adequate supply, and simultaneously protecting it from over-exploitation in the wild.
Rooibos Biodiversity Initiative
The RBI has been formed in response to the concerning rate of transformation of endangered habitat in the GCBC. The RBI aims to implement Biodiversity Best Practice Guidelines based on economic, social and environmental principles, within the rooibos industry in the region.
These Guidelines have recently been developed, and we are proud to be part of the pilot group of 25 farmers who are now implementing these in practice.