Souht African brands Rooibos and Honeybush has secured geographic indicator status in an economic partnership agreement between southern African nations and the European Union. Karoo Lamb has been grappling with similar issues of trademark protection.
Dry Rooibos and extracts, liquors and infusions of the Rooibos plant are used in a variety of products including herbal teas, fruit juices and other foodstuffs as well as health and beauty products. Rooibos tea manufacturers of South Africa will have ownership of that particular name and that term will be applicable only to products that come from and are approved by them. In 2013 the South African Rooibos Council scrambled to stop an attempt by a French company to trademark the name, fearing that it could secure exclusive use.
The same trademark protection given to Rooibos will apply to Honeybush, another tea grown exclusively in the Cape region, and Karoo lamb, meaning that only products produced in those areas can be marketed under those trade names.
In turn South Africa is forced to make a concession on Feta Cheese, which has been a so-called protected designation of origin product in the European Union since 2002. Existing local producers would be allowed to continue using the Greek name but new entrants into the market would be barred from doing so.