Ubuntu Olive Oil: The first black-owned olive oil brand in Southern Africa
Produced in South Africa, Ubuntu Olive Oil embodies the principles of the African philosophy of community and sharing.
Founded by South African entrepreneur Loyiso Manga, Ubuntu Olive Oil is an award-winning olive oil and the first established commercially black-owned olive oil brand in South Africa.
Driven by his interest in the health benefits of extra-virgin olive oil, Loyiso explains what led to the creation of the local brand.
“I was inspired by the health benefits of extra-virgin olive oil and the fact that it was a niche market with no black players in it. Most importantly, we wanted to be an inspiration to many other young ambitious individuals to follow their dreams and back themselves in whatever their heart’s desires were. We wanted to be proof of concept that the spirit of ubuntu is alive in South Africans.”
Produced and manufactured in the Western Cape, Ubuntu Olive Oil further exudes the principle of “togetherness” by providing jobs to people within the local farming communities. “From primary to tertiary production, all elements are sourced locally,” adds Loyiso.
Why the name Ubuntu Olive Oil
Ubuntu is understood far and wide by every African.
“We chose Ubuntu as this was a principle my elders always thought we should aspire to, as individuals and as a nation. Most importantly, though, every South African knows the word ‘ubuntu’ and can somehow explain it in their own language. So, when people see our brand name, they immediately tap into themselves and identify with it in one way or another,” says Loyiso.
The labelling on each bottle of olive oil reflects the origins of the brand as it showcases an African-inspired design and the message “May we always be examples of love and kindness”.
“Building an African-inspired brand with packaging that embodies African patterns, vibrancy and energy is what we wanted to achieve,” shares Loyiso.
The award-winning Ubuntu olive oil range
Ubuntu Olive Oil recently won gold at the World Olive Oil Competition in New York and the London Olive Oil Competition through Mardouw Olive Estate for their high-quality offering.
Currently, the only product that has been released is the Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but three new infused olive oils – lemon, garlic and biltong – are in the pipeline as the company searches for new investors to take this range to market.
“Our biltong-infused olive oil is something to salivate over as this will be the first of its kind in South Africa. We also have our own balsamic vinegar, which we source from Spain – it will change life as you know it,” highlights Loyiso.
Ubuntu Olive Oil is currently stocked at Woolworths and Pick n Pay stores across the country at R130 for a 500ml bottle.
Loyiso has advised that due to the current shortage and poor harvest this year, the price of olive oil is subject to increase. “One can expect the price hike due to the low supply and high demand.”
The future of Ubuntu Olive Oil
Ubuntu Olive Oil has plans to purchase an olive oil-producing farm and this would make it the first black-owned commercial olive oil farm in the country.
“We are also working on our first export of eight containers of our olive oil to West Africa. Interestingly, the olive oil that will be distributed in Ghana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast is not for consumption but anointing olive oil for spiritual purposes. So we are rather excited about that deal materialising soon,” adds Loyiso.