our partners

As Cape Fynbos Oils we recognise the unique role we can play in essential oils production both regionally and globally. Our partnership is committed to sharing our success in the growing, farming and distilling of aromatic fynbos plants.

Of greatest importance are the people who assist us. Growing and distilling essential oils is a people-driven process and we work together on-farm as a single team. Farm staff were once labourers on the land but are today fully participative in every step towards success.

Care for the agricultural and surrounding environment is vital too.  The catchments which provide our water are cleared of alien invasive plants, preserving also their natural biodiversity.

Old and degraded lands  are being returned to productivity - and providing new jobs. Managing and minimising water use, optimising infiltration and eliminating erosion, are critical practices in a region that is deeply threatened by climate change. All harvested plant material is returned to the fields as mulch.  Supplementary fertiliser and the very occasional pest control that may be required all comes from organic sources.


Here is a spotlight on our key partners:


Camilla Colley, The Imphepho Project

Since 2014, Camilla has worked with fynbos botanicals, initially distilling Helichrysum patulum (Imphepho), to discover the essential oil yields and inherent therapeutic values.  

Camilla is passionate about the Cape Floral Kingdom - both its conservation and the abundant medicinal properties of fynbos that have been used in ancient and contemporary African herbal medicine. She has been working closely with women on farms, gaining experience with fynbos farming, facilitating job potential for local women in the Stellenbosch area and providing a space for indigenous knowledge and uses of the local flora to be put into practice.

Camilla’s commitment to growing fynbos in its original environment ensures her practices are ethically founded, with the aim of promoting restoration and regeneration in the fynbos biome. 

In 2018 she helped establish the Cape Fynbos Oils partnership. Currently, Camilla helps provide a consistent supply of premium quality fynbos essential oils to the local and international market. In keeping with the principles of Cape Fynbos Essential Oils, she ensures the small batch quality control of the farm-gate to bottle process. 

Camilla also offers her knowledge to farmers interested in growing fynbos for essential oils. She consults on various farms in the Western Cape and assists in the propagation of ethically sourced plants. She runs a mobile distillation unit which is available for training and rental purposes.

Camilla also offers her knowledge to farmers interested in growing fynbos for essential oils. She consults on various farms in the Western Cape and assists in the propagation of ethically sourced plants. She runs a mobile distillation unit which is available for training and rental purposes.

*   *   *    *   *   *   
*   *   *    *   *   *   *   *   *    *   * 

Andrew Brown – Rockhaven Farm, Groot Winterhoek.

Andrew Brown founded Cape Mountain Oils alongside his local farming assistant Jaap Moses in 2005. Together they started growing and stilling a range of indigenous cultivated essential oils on the farm Rockhaven in the Groot Winterhoek Mountains. With Rockhaven so close to his heart, Andrew is also a practising advocate at the Cape Town Bar, an accomplished author with several books to his credit, an explorer who has travelled deep into Africa on his KTM moror-cycle, and a member of the police reserve so as to find out how the otherside ticks. Jaap grew up in the Groot Winterhoek and worked on Rockhaven when it was an apple farm called Sanddraai. He and his wife Stoffelina are the heart and soul of Rockhaven, managing additional staff as needed, caring for visitors, and attending to all of the growing, harvesting and distilling of a wide range of essential oils.

*   *   *    *   *   *   *   *   *    *   *   *   *   *   *    *   * 

Dirk Versfeld – Lentelus Farm, Bo-Kouga

Dirk cares for a small farm tucked away in the Bo-Kouga mountains of the Southern Cape Karoo, and the two families living there. This has been a life-long challenge in parallel to a professional career in natural resource planning. The farm is in the transitional zone between Fynbos and Karoo, with a harsh climate, and variability resulting in a  high degree of endemism. Climate change-induced droughts now grip the region. If the fynbos is the world’s epicentre of aromatic plants then this tough and beautiful transitional zone is the heart of hearts. 

Dirk has always worked in the world of natural resources - from forest water use to the clearing of invasive alien plants, community catchment management, strategic environmental assessments and water resource planning. This comes together in the growing of essential oils.

Dirk’s passion in farming shows its expression in the restoration of old and degraded lands and in the search for rare and unusual plants - cultivating these to distill a wide range of essential oils.  Lentelus farm is completely off-grid; with no electricity or mobile phone reception it is the perfect detox. The distillation equipment used on the farm (made by Werner) is wood-fired and mountain water is gravitated to the lands for irrigation. Beyond the occasional use of a small tractor, everything is done by hand. To quote our partner Andrew “It is such a wonderful thing to do”.

*   *   *    *   *   *   *   *   *    *   *   *   *   *   *    *   * 


Werner Bester – Essential Distillation Equipment. 

Werner has been involved in essential oils since year 2000 - first as a farmer, then as grower of plants from seeds and cuttings for the industry. By training as engineer, Werner then founded Essential Distillation Equipment (EDE) in 2002. His plant nursery and engineering business are both situated at Riebeek Kasteel in the Western Cape and he provides knowledge, plants, equipment and analytical services to the Cape Fynbos Oils partnership. 

Years of research and development have resulted in a well-rounded knowledge on nearly all types of plant material extraction. While EDE was initially aimed at serving the need for information and technology in the South African essential oil industry, Werner is now engaged in the design, manufacture and maintenance of distillation equipment for the essential oil and plant extract industry for farmers and factories around the globe. 

Werner has been constantly researching the propagation, farming, extraction methods, chemistry and uses of South African essential oils. His deep knowledge and belief in the value and use of the country’s indigenous oils are reflected in his support for the small farmer and insistence on sustainable farming techniques. This support has involved encouraging both local farmers and international buyers in the extraordinary potential of South Africa, and especially the Cape Floristic Region, as a source of rare, valuable and wonderful essential oils – some quite new and unknown in the world marketplace.

Werner’s experience, knowledge and enthusiasm have been central to the establishment of Cape Fynbos Oils. This partnership embraces his ideals of sustainable farming, experimentation, learning and the sharing of knowledge – alongside the deepest value of social responsibility for those who ultimately work the land.

For more on distillation of essential oils you can visit www.edesa.co.za