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Abstract

Rooibos Ltd is the largest processor of Rooibos tea, and currently has a turnover of more than R250 million per year, experiencing strong turnover and export growth over the past few years. The production of the tea is a cyclical process, which creates unique challenges to the company. Key success factors include strong upstream and downstream contractual relationships, ethical stewardship of the product, employees and the environment, and technological leadership. Because production is cyclical, success requires a long term vision, while finances need to be managed within the constraints of this long term cycle. Key lessons are to protect your intellectual property; decide whether you have the potential to be a large business or to remain a medium sized business; understand your industry and your strengths and weaknesses; and strive to be the best supplier of product and the best service provider.

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