SAEOPA, a non-profit organization, was established in 2000 to:
- Promote essential oils and natural plant products’ production, processing, and export
- Represent and promote the interests of members and the industry
- Collect, collate and disseminate salient information
- Be the unified and independent mouthpiece of the industry
- Facilitate the co-ordination of the industry’s activities
- Promote research to expand the national and regional industry
- Facilitate the sustainability of and increase the competitiveness of members, the national and the regional industry
- Empower members via training, workshops, conferences, trade missions, etc.
- Perform such functions as may be desirable for the attainment of these objectives.
SAEOPA’s membership and value-adding services are available to:
- Producers (growers)
- Distributors and exporters
- Academic and research institutions
- Test laboratories
- Other stakeholders within the value chain
- Other interested parties.
SAEOPA co-operates and partners with:
- National and provincial government institutions such as the Departments of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform (DARDLR); Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF); Health (DoH); Science and Technology (DST); and Trade and Industry (the dti), and parastatals such as AgriSETA; the Small Business Development Agency (SEDA) and the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS)
- Institutions of higher learning and research, e.g. universities and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
- International co-operation partners such as the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the United Nations Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
- Parties in support of the industry, e.g. the South African Quality Institute (SAQI)
SAEOPA aims to make a tangible and lasting difference to socio-economic matters such as:
- Employment creation
- Exploiting entrepreneurial opportunities
- Assisting and empowering established and potential farmers
- Unlocking the potential of the region’s agricultural potential
- Promoting integrated farming operations
- Attracting youth entrants to the agricultural sector
- Empowering women in agriculture
- Promoting economic development especially in rural areas.