Protection for uniquely South African products

It is imperative the South African government take steps to obtain copyright on the name ‘biltong’ as was the case with Rooibos tea, according to Prof Melville Saayman, director of Tourism Research in Economic Environs & Society (Trees) at North West University.

He told Farmer’s Weekly the country stood a good chance to lose the right to register biltong as an exclusively South African product.

“More and more people are making and selling biltong in the rest of the world. The department of trade and industry should do all in its power to protect this and other unique local products,” he said.

Saayman said SA would be well advised to learn from the efforts of countries in the EU to safeguard locally produced products such as Port from Portugal and Champagne from France.

By registering products such as biltong, boerewors and honeybush tea as exclusively South African the state would create a vast new array of opportunities for local producers in terms of value adding.

This meant, among others, increased income through royalties. South Africa needed to protect its own. The list of local products that could be registered could even include popular South African sweet treat koeksusters.