Bringing together an inclusive membership of the botanical products industry to improve quality, market access, ABS compliance & international acceptance of Southern African Botanical Products.


More inclusive membership by building community grower capacities for producing botanical products through training and collaboration with UCanGrow.


Expanding the production of quality botanical products in line with market growth to sustainably grow the botanical products industry.


Focussing on rapidly growing target markets to raise awareness, make strategic partnerships, attend tradeshows and lower barriers to entry through regulatory compliance.


The Southern African Botanical Products Association (SABPA) comprises members of the rapidly expanding botanical products industry – both locally in South Africa as well as internationally from Namibia, the USA and Canada.

SABPA was formed with a focus on the increasingly popular Mesembryanthemum tortuosum (syn. Sceletium tortuosum; Sceletium, kanna) – our flagship species – however, it intends to expand its services to other users of South African indigenous botanical resources that fall under the NEMBA legislation to support on aspects such as market access and ABS compliance.




Sceletium tortuosum (sceletium) or more commonly known as Kanna, is a low growing succulent plant from the dry parts of South Africa. The First people of Southern Africa used Kanna, by chewing, smoking, or inhaling as snuff, for its pleasant stimulating effects and medicinal, social and spiritual value.

In the last 30 years Kanna has attracted scientific attention for its potential mood-lifting, anxiety-reducing and cognitive function enhancing abilities. Some evidence exists for its use in the treatment of mild depression and anxiety although only one proprietary Sceletium extract has documented safety and efficacy data at present.


+27 21 873 3895

NPO registration number: 295-969 NPO
38B Lady Loch Road

Thomas Brendler


Dr. Thomas Brendler is a scientist and consultant with over 30 years of experience in the field of natural product development, registration, and licensing, for medicine, food, and cosmetics. He is an expert in botanical research, product innovation, regulatory affairs, and sourcing of raw materials. He has contributed to the development and implementation of quality standards, herbal pharmacopoeias, and scientific publications for several organizations and agencies, including the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Centre for Development of Enterprise, and the International Trade Centre.

He is a co-founder and former director of the Association of African Medicinal Plants Standards, a non-profit organization that promotes the sustainable use of African plants. He holds a PhD in Botany from the University of Johannesburg and has published more than 50 papers and books on topics related to ethnobotany, ethnopharmacology, phytotherapy, and natural product regulation.

Dr. Brendler is a member of the editorial boards of several journals, a US Pharmacopoeia expert committee member, and a board member of the International Society for Ethnopharmacology and the American Botanical Council. In 2023, he co-founded the Southern African Botanical Product Association (SABPA). He is also affiliated with Traditional Medicinals, a leading herbal tea company in the US, as Principal Scientist R&D.

Ferdinand Labuschagne


Ferdinand Labuschagne has been in the Medicinal Plant industry for the past 4 years, spending the first couple of years on building the commercial supply side of the Sceletium value chain through the establishment of KarooKanna Cultivation. Ferdinand have spent his  professional career in the Entrepreneurial space spending time in the following industries: Retail, International Forex and Commodity markets, Property development and marketing, mining, sales and marketing.

Ferdinand contributes to SABPA on marketing the association to new members, and represents the association on Natural medicine supply conferences both locally and internationally to help our members’ businesses through accessing new clients both locally and internationally.

Avril Harvey


Avril Harvey started her career as a researcher in a number of small Biotech start-ups (both in the United Kingdom and in South Africa) before her focus shifted to the commercialization of technology using public funds channeled through the Department of Science and Technology Innovation Centers.

As a project manager and management consultant, she has worked on consulting engagements helping multinationals to strategize on growth in Africa, as well as with small, post revenue generating social enterprises to become investment ready. Avril has both a Masters in Molecular Microbiology and a Masters in Business Administration.

Avril has worked at Parceval since 2016 with a focus on grant proposal writing, project management and consulting on supply chains and Nagoya Protocol for clients. She is a founding member of SABPA and is the current Secretary and Treasurer. She brings expertise on the local South African NEMBA and Bioprospecting, Access and Benefit Sharing legislation and processes to the Board of Directors.

Ulrich Feiter

Ulrich Feiter is the founder and CEO of Parceval Pty, based in Wellington near Cape Town, South Africa. 

Born and bred in Germany and with a background in horticulture, Ulrich started Parceval in 1992 in South Africa after having worked at companies like WALA and Weleda in Germany as well as in South Africa. Parceval cultivates and sources botanical raw materials for processing to herbal medicines as well as cosmetic ingredients in their GMP factory, both for local as well as international markets. 

His interest in indigenous plants and biological resources now spans some four decades with much pioneering work in commercialisation. Ulrich has worked in many African countries setting up sustainable supply chains for a variety of global clients in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industry. His work includes taking plants from wild harvesting into cultivation, working with rural communities and high end global pharmaceutical companies alike, compliance to Nagoya Protocol, negotiating innovative benefit sharing agreements and much more. 

Together with like-minded associates, he is a co-founder and first chairperson of SABPA.

Prof Marietjie Stander is the Unit Manager of the Mass spectrometry Unit at the Central Analytical Facility of Stellenbosch University.  She obtained her MSc at Stellenbosch University and PhD at North West University.  After Post doctoral studies and 6 years in industry she settled in her role at Stellenbosch University.  Her research interests are natural product chemistry, mass spectrometry, quality control and analysis of botanical products (including Sceletium), analysis of food and beverages for adulterants and food fraud. 

She is a director of Scistaff, a recruitment agency that started off as a hobby to help Science students find jobs. She is a member of SABPA in her capacity at Varsfontein, a family business in the Klein Karoo farming with olives and Sceletium. She is in charge of special projects at SABPA.

Suzette Trevor currently holds the position of Lead Buyer at Dohler South Africa for the Botanical Extract Business Unit in Paarl.  Döhler is a global producer, marketer and provider of technology-driven natural ingredients, ingredient systems and integrated solutions for the food and beverage industry.

Apart from her Human Resource qualification she obtained a diploma in Supply chain management through UNISA as well as a CIPS qualification. With over 25yrs of Supply Chain experience – in various industries - the last 6 yrs has been focused on Sourcing all raw material for the BU, Sales (internal and external) , the management of stock and production planning. Her main skill set includes collaborating with suppliers, negotiating, assessing company procurement needs and sourcing (local and globally) according to seasonal harvests.