by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG - THE rising demand for essential and vegetable oils worldwide has been hailed as opening up a wonderful opportunity for South Africa to be a worthy contender in exporting these commodities for global consumption.
The country is in a favourable position because of its diversity of climate and soil types.
Prospects abundant in the essential and vegetable oils thus comes as a major boost to the continent’s most advanced economy that however is going through turbulence with job losses and waning export opportunities.
The government is, therefore, pinning its hopes on the oils sector.
“The growth in this sector will stimulate increased production of vegetable and essential oils,” said Claudy Steyn, Chief Director: Chemicals, Cosmetics, Plastics and Pharmaceuticals at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Steyn nonetheless said in order to compete, the oils industry has to be quality-driven.
The official insisted on improved packaging, knowledge of regulatory requirements and internationally recognised testing facilities, understanding of market requirements, better pricing and distribution.
Recently, the DTI, Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the South African Essential Oils Producers’ Association (SAEOPA) hosted the first South African Conference on Essential and Vegetable Oils.
The event held under the theme, “Industry Milestones, Sharing Successes and Demystifying Market Requirements”, is set to facilitate quality exports.
Local experts as well as Australia, Europe and Turkey gathered at the conference that brought together over 150 oil producers from all over South Africa and Southern Africa.
Nonhlanhla Halimana, SECO Programme Manager, said the conference represented the commitment from the industry and the South African Government to join forces to mobilize the potential of the sector.
“We are proud to be a partner in this milestone to achieve their goal of becoming a global player of exporting quality products,” said .
– CAJ News