New horizons and innovations for South Africa’s essential and vegetable oils industry

In July 2022, the 2nd South African Conference on Essential and Vegetable Seed Oils was held on 21st in Pretoria. It was hosted by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) funded Global Quality and Standards Programme South Africa (GQSP-SA) project, implemented by UNIDO.

Good quality essential and vegetable oils enhance the competitiveness of a country. The production of unique oils and value-added products based on South Africa’s unique biodiversity represents an opportunity and an advantage that needs to be embraced and exploited fully. Ultimately, all these efforts and support are about people and creating opportunities in terms of livelihoods, employment, and improved standards of living.

The conference was organized in collaboration with the industry association, the Southern African Essential Oil Producers Association (SAEOPA) and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic). The blended event was well attended by delegates attending in person and others joining remotely and focused on “New Horizons and Innovations for the Essential and Vegetable Seed Oil Industry”. The topics presented aimed at increasing the uptake of South African-produced essential and vegetable oils in the cosmetic, food and health sectors whilst facilitating sustainable, profitable and competitive market access to enhance the capacity of the industry to compete effectively internationally.

A diverse range of local and international speakers and stakeholders in the essential and vegetable seed oil industry, participated in the conference – this included government policymakers, industry associations, producers, small and institutions and suppliers of raw materials. The interactive sessions focused on topics such as market diversity, responsible agriculture medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) producing value added products, academia, research and resource-effective practices, technologies to support processing and product development, community involvement and changing the narrative on quality and sustainability.

For further information contact Nora Dei-Anang (N.Dei-Anang [at]