Quality gains a foothold in the essential and vegetable oils industry in South Africa

On 15 November 2022 a unique dialogue highlighted the increasingly important role of quality for oil production in South Africa. Representatives from the essential and vegetable oils industry, quality infrastructure institutions, conformity assessment service providers and support organizations shared best practices and their encouraging messages of success with a Swiss delegation comprised of the Ambassador of Switzerland to South Africa, the Advisory Panel on Development Cooperation to the Swiss Federal Government (BK-IZA) and the Head of Swiss Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO) South Africa. During an interactive session, organized by the Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQSP) South Africa, on understanding different perspectives, the Swiss delegation engaged with the South African participants on changes they had made in their organization or enterprise in the past three years.

The results of a recent survey conducted on the changing narratives about the quality of essential and vegetable oils produced in South Africa were shared. The survey results highlighted a milestone achievement, which constitutes the switch from being production orientated to being acutely aware of the continuous importance of the quality during cultivation, harvesting and the production processes. Due to the work of the GQSP in South Africa, the oil producers have developed an organisation-wide attentiveness to managing quality from species selection to bottling of the oil.  Quality is gaining a foothold in the essential and vegetable oils industry.

During their visit to an exhibition arranged by the Southern African Essential Oils Association (SAEOPA) the delegates could see and touch plant materials, smell the fragrance of the essential oils and view some value-added products. On that occasion, a training syllabus comprising five outcomes-based learning modules was handed over to SAEOPA to roll out to the industry using the ten trainers that had been trained by the GQSP in South Africa, thereby widening the training outreach for the industry.

The Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQSP) is funded by Switzerland through the State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO) and implemented by UNIDO. The department of trade, industry and competition (the dtic) is the government counterpart.

Learn more about Indigenous South African Essential and Vegetable Oils in the brochure here.

For further information contact Bernard Bau (b.bau [at] unido.org)