Mostly isolated from the outside world, not much has changed in the Wupperthal valley since 1830 when Rhenisch missionaries Theobald von Wurmb and Johann Gottlieb Leipoldt, established a Rhenish Mission Station here. The mission was transferred to the Moravian Church during the 1950s. It is still home to a small, impoverished community of farmers as sun-hardy as the plants they tend.
But while they may be poor in worldly goods, Wupperthal’s farmers are the proud custodians of the indigenised knowledge that underlies the successful propagation and cultivation of the world’s best rooibos.
Drawing on generations of knowledge to plant, cultivate and harvest this plant without irrigation, fertilisers or pesticides, the sustained organic approach of the members of the Fair Wupperthal Rooibos Cooperative reaps rewards by way of healthy plant size and high yields per hectare.
Moreover, their respectful co-existence with their crop has earned these farmers the label of producing the world’s best rooibos – today available under the premium Wupperthal Rooibos 1830 brand.
Blind-tested and independently certified as the highest quality rooibos available, Wupperthal Rooibos is darker, stronger and naturally sweeter in flavour.
These plants are now healing a community too. The establishment of the Wupperthal Community Development Trust in 2017 brought an opportunity to change the lives of 1,700 people, creating real ownership, employment and wealth to the local economy.
Wupperthal Rooibos 1830 is the embodiment of that success.