News from the Farm


The excessive June rains that have left the village of Citrusdal stranded without access for days, have caused several challenges in the management of our Rooibos schedules for this time of the year; not only in the planting of seedlings for the new season, as they would have been washed away by the flood, but the extremely cold temperatures have also delayed the germination of Rooibos seeds at the various nurseries and the seedlings they had have washed away, which are causing shortages in seedlings and late planting for many farmers. Lastly, it serves little purpose planting when the soil is so saturated as more rain is predicted for July which will push the planting out to August.

As mentioned previously, the rain has not caused damage to the higher lying tea fields with good drainage, but our lower lying fields are suffering as the clay levels are higher here, preventing good drainage, so in effect the plants are suffocating and dying and there is very little we can do to help those fields recover. Planting is also slow as the soil is so wet. There may a shortage of seedlings in the industry as many drowned in the flood and the intense cold does not help the small seedlings to take quickly and strongly. Implements are constantly getting stuck in the muddy soil which causes further delays in the planting and weeding. These wet conditions may cause the loss of several tea fields and makes it extremely difficult to manage weed growth in the tea fields in general.

It seems appropriate to amend the words of Lailah Gifty Akita a little, “Each day brings new life, new strength, new dreams and new hope. May we find courage, confidence and hope to keep reaching for our vision.


Fairtrade is an international system of standards designed to make a difference in the lives of the people who grow and create the things we love. It’s all about making trade and working conditions fair.

Fairtrade enables farmers and workers to have more control over their lives and decide how to invest in their future. As a leader in the global movement to make trade fair, Fairtrade supports and challenges businesses and governments while connecting farmers and workers with the people who buy their products. Just by working with Fairtrade, we help to tackle some of the biggest global challenges to people and to businesses. These include human rights and child labour, sustainable livelihoods and the fight against deforestation and the climate crisis.

Annual visits are conducted to to ensure compliance with the Fairtrade standard. Carmien Tea had their annual Fairtrade compliance audition on the 29th of June. Once again we were successful in complying with all criteria of the Fairtrade standard. We are proud to partner with this standard and to better the lives of our workers and the industry.

Our Carmién rooibos tea farms are spread across the designated Rooibos growing areas and together with our long-term contracted producers, we obtain rooibos from all the specified regions. The entire process from growing the product in the fields to developing the best taste and flavour are all controlled by strict processes and measures and therefore we have several certifications including Organic, Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade to ensure we comply with strict international regulations to help us protect our environment with sustainable farming practices for generations to come.