Wupperthal Original Rooibos Co-operative (WORC)

The Wupperthal Original Rooibos Co-operative (WORC) is a democratically organized group of small-scale farmers who have grown rooibos in South Africa for generations. Small-scale farmers are very rare in the plantation-dominated rooibos industry, comprising less than 5% of all rooibos grown. Pushed off of their land in the 1800s and later living under apartheid, they now grow food in the challenging very dry, rocky soil of the Cedarberg Mountains. For Rooibos, however, the slower growth and lower production have resulted in notably higher quality tea compared to plantation Rooibos grown on the most fertile lands. Today, most rooibos production is on plantations with White landowners, making Wupperthal a true gem in a rocky landscape.