Nektium secures first BioTrade permit to bring honeybush to European supplements market

Honeybush (Cyclopia​ spp.), the “little cousin” of Rooibos (aka redbush) tea, is a naturally sweet, caffeine-free tea from the highly biodiverse Cape Floral Kingdom in South Africa. It is rich in antioxidants and the health-promoting bioactive compound mangiferin and has been shown to demonstrate anti-diabetic​, anti-obesity​, and immunomodulatory properties​.

Nektium has now secured a BioTrade permit from South Africa’s Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment to source honeybush in line with the principles of the Nagoya Protocol, the international legal framework which promotes the sharing raw materials in a fair and equitable way.

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With the permit in place, Nektium’s R&D team is now working to develop a honeybush ingredient with the potential for use across supplements, food and beverages.

“We are delighted to have obtained our first BioTrade permit, which we believe is the first issued to an extract manufacturer for honeybush in South Africa,” said Adriana Regidor, sustainability & corporate affairs director at Nektium.  

To secure the permit, it was essential to recognize and reward the traditional knowledge of relevant indigenous groups as determined by the South African Government. Spain-based Nektium therefore worked with South African distributor Parceval (Pty) Ltd to consult and negotiate with the San Council of South Africa and the National Khoisan Council.

As a result of the negotiations, Nektium will share the profits from any honeybush ingredients with both councils and provide their members with internships at the company’s facilities on the island of Gran Canaria.

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