South Africa has a great potential to become a leader in Natural Ingredients. Unfortunately, the business environment is not enabling the sector to take full advantage of the country´s position. For that reason, Robbie Hogervorst went to South Africa, together with CBI´s institutional expert Jim Tersteeg to visit stakeholders that could play a key role in improving a business enabling environment. During this mission, forward actions were discussed.

South Africa has a sound foundation to develop and market high quality and innovative ingredients for the health, cosmetics and food sectors. This foundation is built on the country’s biodiversity, diversity in agricultural zones, entrepreneurial spirit and a highly educated workforce.

To improve the business environment for natural ingredients companies, Robbie Hogervorst identified a group of stakeholders during earlier strategic conferences and missions. These stakeholders could offer the right services through the right channels, or a platform for cooperation, or by aligning legislation better to business realities.

Forward actions discussed included support to national departments to develop strategies and tools for SME development, as well as support to align efforts between departments and between departments and business support organisations in the country. The institutional support project in South Africa also focuses on capacity building of these business support organisations, so they are better able to change the business environment.