Natural Ingredients South Africa

This programme covers natural ingredients for two sectors: cosmetics and health products. There is a lot of demand in Europe for natural ingredients in these sectors. Also, health and beauty are growing markets.

South Africa has a very rich biodiversity. It has more plants and species than most other countries in the world. For many centuries, local people have made use of these natural resources. They have used them for health and medicinal purposes. Now there are opportunities to export some of these resources.

European cosmetics and health products buyers are interested in natural ingredients. By exporting natural ingredients, South African companies can strengthen the country’s economy in a sustainable way. Also, harvesting and processing these ingredients creates jobs in rural areas where there is not much other employment.

Project details

This programme began in 2014 and will end in 2018. In 2014, we selected participants. Since then, we have trained and coached these companies in different ways. The purpose is to help them prepare for entering the European market.

In 2015, the South African companies attended a market orientation mission with CBI to Europe. This helped them to get a better understanding of what European buyers of natural ingredients want. Also we have helped them find ways of adding value to their products, for instance through better processing and packaging. That way their exports will generate more money and more jobs.

The final phase in this programme is market entry. Some of the participants will exhibit at In-Cosmetics in Paris, France. This is one of the world’s leading trade fairs for the cosmetics industry. Another group will present themselves at Vitafoods Europe in Switzerland. Vitafoods is one of the world’s most important nutraceutical events.

Project participants and products

A total of 22 companies are taking part in this programme. Fourteen want to supply cosmetics manufacturers in Europe. The other eight are aiming at European buyers of natural ingredients for health products.

Meet the participants

  • You can contact CBI to get in touch with these exporters.
  • Another possibility is to meet these potential suppliers at the trade fairs we will attend with them in Europe. Contact CBI for details.


CBI is collaborating with three main partners in this programme:

CECOSA is eager to grow. This organisation wants to serve the wider natural ingredients sector in South Africa, not just the cosmetics segment. The three organisations are helping CBI to facilitate the programme. They are also benefiting themselves from CBI’s market knowledge and experience in promoting exports to Europe.

Get involved as an importer

Are you a European importer interested in natural ingredients from South Africa? If you are, you can contact CBI to find out more, or to meet with potential suppliers who have been trained for exporting to Europe.

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Programme Manager

Dirk-Jan Zegelaar Ask your question

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