Parceval, along with a consortium of other companies in the sector, has been awarded a matched funding grant for Sector development around the botanical product, Sceletium tortuosum. The funding has been provided via the Swiss Economic Development Agency and is managed by Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
The main activities of the project include: equipping a new in house laboratory to conduct testing of material (Parceval has received a shiny new High Pressure Liquid Chromatography unit for this purpose); comparative testing between multiple laboratories to standardise the analysis method; cultivation trials, developing guidelines to share with the industry and training for community cultivators; a self-affirmed GRAS certification to increase number and value of compliant (legal) products in the US and Canadian market; and the formation of a Southern African Botanical Products Association, to formalise the sector and have a legal entity that can engage with the indigenous people that hold the Traditional Knowledge of Sceletium around Access and Benefit Sharing.
The Sector Development Project has got off to a good start on most of its objectives – although a few challenges have been encountered around establishing the in-house laboratory and analysis. This is mainly due to the loadshedding being experienced across South Africa at present – it is very costly in time and consumables to start a run on the HPLC that is then interrupted due to an electricity outage. In addition, it could cause damage to the HPLC unit adding costs to the in-kind contribution by the consortium and delaying the establishment of the test method even further.
Despite these challenges, there are many good outcomes to expect in the next few months. For one, the Botanical Products Association has been invited to attend the African Biotrade Festival being held from 14 – 16 September 2023 in Sandton, Gauteng. Parceval, KarooKanna and Sceletia Tea will represent the industry at the festival, which is taking place at the same time as the Natural and Organic Products Expo.
We are excited to have been selected to showcase the many exciting and novel Sceletium products at the Festival/Expo and will do our utmost to raise awareness and attract additional customers for the Sceletium industry players while we are there. Parceval, through African Infusions, will introduce a new tea blend incorporating Honeybush and Sceletium at the Expo. Details about where to find the Sceletium stand will be shared as soon as we have these available. You can find us at Stand A2 at the Festival and register your interest to attend at African Biotrade Festival.