Winter has shown up early with many bouts of rain and cold pushing the completion of harvest time to early May. It is a struggle to dry the tea with so many cold days and very little sun but the tea quality is excellent. On the farms, field maintenance continues and seedlings sown in March are looking strong and flourishing with the early rains.
Carmién Tea and our processing subcontractor Bergendal Rooibos (that is 50% worker-owned) received their annual 3-day certification audit in mid-April and were audited against these three standards:
- The Ecocert Organic Standard (EOS), an EC (European Commission) Regulation 834/2007 and 889/2008 equivalent standard.
- The USA national organic standard: National Organic Program (NOP).
- The Japanese national organic standard: Organic Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS).
An extensive audit was carried out on the complete supply chain which is important for full traceability. All departments were well prepared and did an excellent task of facilitating the auditors during this lengthy audit we are happy to report that it went very well and we are very proud to be part of these certification schemes.
We also had an annual visit from one of our biggest and most valued Japanese clients. It is always a pleasure to take them through the processing facility and show them our newest facility and storage expansions. Carmen Niehaus, the well-known South African cookbook writer and chef, hosted a mouth-watering traditional South African braai and, as usual, prepared most of her canapes with Rooibos tea as an ingredient. It remains our continued delight and honour to receive and treat our valued clients the Carmién Rooibos way.