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  Herb Research Foundation co-hosts Natural Products Roundtable in South Africa

April 28, 2000: More than 140 delegates from 16 different countries attended the first Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products (A-SNAPP) Roundtable, held in Capetown, South Africa from April 4-6, 2000. The Roundtable brought together African producers and processors, American and European wholesale herb buyers, and related government agencies, in an effort to explore and promote the trade of sustainably produced natural products from Africa to the world marketplace. The international event was part of an ongoing three-year project funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). "The Roundtable was a resounding success," said HRF President Rob McCaleb. "All of the countries involved see this as an important opportunity to go beyond commodity food crops into more specialized food products." During his visit, McCaleb was interviewed by a film crew from the Discovery Channel as part of an upcoming show on traditional medicine in South Africa.

Roundtable participants from France to Cameroon have emailed HRF to express their satisfaction with the wide range of topics covered at the Roundtable, including the status of African natural products production, an international market overview, international trade and regulation of plant-based products, sustainable agriculture, and intellectual property rights. One of the greatest attractions for many attendees was a 2-1/2 hour videoconference that provided an opportunity to speak directly with major overseas buyers about market needs and demands. Participating companies included Celestial Seasonings, the world's largest specialty tea company; Tom's of Maine, a body care company that has expanded into herbal extracts; KHL Flavors, a spice and herb broker; Frontier Natural Products Cooperative, a major buyer of organic herbs; Botanicals International, one of the major processors of bulk botanicals for supplement manufacturers; and Whole Herb Company, a full-service botanical trader.

HRF Press Release
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