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France has Champagne, Ireland has Irish Whiskey and South Africa has Rooibos (Red Bush). If it's not Rooibos from South Africa's Cederberg region, you can't call it Rooibos.

Rooibos is the first African food to receive the European Union's (EU) origin stamp of approval. This means that the product enjoys geographical protection with what the EU calls a protected designation of origin (PDO).

With Rooibos being added to this prestigious register, it joins the likes of Champagne, Kalamata olives, Roquefort cheese and Irish Whiskey.

These iconic products are geographically linked to their origin, and offers protection as well as financial implications because demand for the product of origin increases.

Doctor Riina Kionka, the EU's ambassador to South Africa, emphasised the positive outcome.

"This has direct benefits for all involved in South Africa and in the EU. Geographic indications offer a valuable competitive advantage that is difficult to erode, so we are delighted that rooibos has been approved as the first African product on the EU register of PDO."

Watch the eNCA video for more on the EU's recognition of the name Rooibos/Red Bush.

Image credit: Medical News Today

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