Natural ingredients sector can boost inclusive economic growth
DURBAN - The natural ingredients sector has a strong potential to accelerate inclusive economic growth in South Africa said Claudy Steyn the Chief Director of Chemicals, Cosmetics, Plastics and Pharmaceuticals at the Department of Trade and Industry.
Steyn was speaking at the opening session of the two-day National Natural Ingredients Conference that started in Sandton today.
The conference that is hosted by the dti is in partnership with the Centre for the Promotion of Imports (CBI), an agency of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The purpose of the conference is to evaluate the Natural Ingredients and Cosmetics Products Export Strategy that has been in place since 2015.
Steyn said, "It is important to note that the natural ingredients sector is a key segment of the government’s re-industrialisation drive, with vital links to key economic policies such as the National Development Plan, Industrial Policy Action Plan and the New Growth Path. Economic growth needs to accelerate in a more inclusive manner and the natural ingredients sector is one sector that can achieve this"
She added that the natural ingredients sector holds great potential for South Africa because the global cosmetics, health and food markets are growing, in particular for natural products.
According to the chief director, globally, consumers increasingly see natural products as safer and healthier options to synthetic ones. In turn, manufacturers respond by creating natural products or including natural ingredients in their formulations.
The Natural Ingredients and Cosmetics Products Export Strategy encourages the production of natural ingredients that adhere to international market requirements and stimulate local value-addition in the production of organic or natural cosmetics products in a business-enabling environment.
The strategy is aimed at increasing the exports of natural ingredients including vegetable and essential oils, improving the competitiveness of the industry to boost exports, and promoting the transformation and inclusiveness of the sector, amongst others.
Natural ingredients produced in South Africa currently include indigenous species such as the aloe ferox, buchu, marula, baobab, honeybush, rooibos and the devil’s claw.
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