Code of Ethics
Cape and Cape are purveyors of Rooibos and African teas bought directly from the producers.
To guarantee a wide range of Rooibos and African teas from various countries and terroirs, Cape and Cape works with farms on various parts of the continent as well as the entire Rooibos-producing region.
The large number of farms and agricultural holdings means that we deal with significant differences in size, management systems and the general condition of infrastructure.
Some of the farms with which we deal are already certified by accredited organisations such as Fair Trade, UTZ, Rain Forest Alliance and EcoCert. Others, however, are not yet certified, often because they cannot afford the process.
In the interests of uniformity and fairness, we have drawn up our Cape and Cape Code of Ethics, which we use as a basis in our search for partners over the continent.
This Code also highlights the ethical, quality-based standards and requirements of Cape and Cape.
A/ General conditions
I/ Traceability, product identification, batch separation
We guarantee the traceability of our products from the seeds to our boutiques.
The fact that we deal directly with each of the producers enables us to provide, for each and every one of our products, the country of origin, the region, the terroir, the farm, the farmer, the field and the harvesting date.
II/ Farm management systems
We strive to ensure that each of our partners fully commits to:
- Agricultural management that guarantees that the soil is correctly treated and its fertility maintained
- Good practices of harvesting cycles and the recovery periods of fields
- Compliance with international standards of working conditions for labourers
- Compliance with hygiene and quality control
- Compliance with waste management policies
- General respect for the environment
III/ Environmental respect and an ecologically responsible approach
Each time we meet with new partners, we stress the importance of an ecologically responsible approach and environmental preservation. The majority of farms with which we work are located in extraordinary settings with exceptional flora and fauna. This is why we guarantee that our partners are not only aware of their privileged natural environment but also work actively to preserve it.
B/ Specific conditions
To facilitate traceability, our producers clearly identify the fields; each batch of tea bears a serial number that allows it to be identified.
Our partners undertake to list all their products from the seeds to the finished product. A system of traceability is implemented to monitor each plant at the various stages of production, allowing greater transparency.
II/ Sustainable soil management
The farmers we work with undertake to use sustainable soil management techniques. To avoid soil depletion, they do their utmost to ensure that their land is not overexploited.
III/ Use of pesticides
Some of our farmers are certified as organic. For the others, we guarantee that pesticides are used only in specific cases as a last resort. When pesticides are used, the farmers undertake to use, whenever possible, biochemical pesticides (biopesticides) before using conventional pesticides.
The use of conventional pesticides is carefully controlled, and the farmers take all possible precautions to avoid contamination of the water supply and surrounding healthy plants during application.
As an integral part of the traceability procedure, pesticide use is accurately reported, with the field, date, type of pesticide and quantity recorded for each use.
All our Rooibos teas are tested by a state accredited South African organisation, the PPECB, before they are sent to France. This ensures that the levels of any bacteria and residues are lower than the limits set by the European Union. The PPECB also tests for the presence of non-organic residues and debris in the Rooibos teas.
IV/ Water use
The partners with whom we work monitor and record rainfall on a yearly basis. They use meteorological data to establish their water requirements and undertake to use water as economically as possible.
In line with our ecologically responsible approach, we strive to ensure that the water they use is extracted from sustainable sources.
Our partners undertake to use optimal management practices for their irrigation systems to reduce the risk of wastage.
Wherever possible, the farmers have rainwater collection systems for best water management on the farms.
The essential criterion for our selection of tea-producing farms is the quality of their savoir-faire and techniques.
The teas are harvested at the optimum harvesting time for the highest possible quality and to ensure that the plants remain healthy.
Our partners undertake to transmit their agricultural knowledge and train their workers to use optimal harvesting techniques.
Our partners regularly train their farm workers in harvesting techniques and correct usage of agricultural equipment.
VI/ Conditions of the farms, hygiene and safety
Our partners ensure that their processing facilities, tea courts (processing areas) and material are properly maintained and hygiene respected to avoid any possible contamination.
The equipment and processing areas are cleaned regularly.
The workers are given basic training on the health and safety rules to be enforced on the farm.
All agricultural machinery is inspected before it comes into contact with the tea courts to avoid any risk of contamination.
VII/ Working conditions of the farm labourers
We carry out inspections of all partner farms in person to ensure proper working conditions for the farm workers.
The workers have access to a source of drinking water in their workplace.
Our partners supply the workers with meals and workers are entitled to a meal break of a regulated duration.
We guarantee that each one of our partners complies with the fundamental principles of international charters of labour law:
- No forced labour
- No child labour
- No discrimination
- Labourers are treated with respect for their dignity
IX/ Additional measures provided by partners for their workers
Permanent workers are, as a rule, housed on the plantation. Seasonal workers are usually housed on-site during the working week and provided with transport home for the weekend.
When workers spend the week on the plantation, they are housed there at the expense of the farmers. We ensure that each farm has adequate housing for their workers.
We ensure that workers who reside on the plantations with their families are provided with decent housing, separated from the other workers.
If workers do not live on-site and there is no local transport system, the farmer undertakes to set up a transport system at his or her own expense, daily, weekly or monthly, depending on the workers’ needs.
Our partners are committed to encourage the enrolment at schools of the children of workers living on the plantations. Should there be no public transport system, they provide the transport to and from the schools.
If the partner farm has a school on its grounds, they guarantee that the education provided complies with the standards of the country and is given by qualified teachers.
X/ Our environmental principles
All our partners are committed to preserving the environment and the biodiversity of their farms.
All new potential agricultural terrain must undergo stringent government inspection before it is granted to the farmer.
Wherever possible, our partners strive to restore the natural corridors of the local fauna, as well as to maintain existing corridors.
The areas where wild Rooibos grows are clearly identified by the farmers. Harvesting is carried out every two years to allow the wild plants to grow properly.
No new fields can be located in an area where wild Rooibos already grows.