The Peppadew story started when Johan Steenkamp first discovered the sweet red pepper at his holiday home in the Eastern Cape in 1993. He saved seeds from the ripened fruit of the mother plant and cultivated them at his farm in Tzaneen, Limpopo. Steenkamp saw potential in the small pepper and came up with the pickling recipe that today remains largely unchanged.
Steenkamp did everything right after discovering the product, he had botanists at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research verify that the Peppadew was a separate variety of chili plant, he then registered international plant breeders’ rights for protection, and he registered the word “peppadew” as a trademark in 2013.
Today Steenkamp is not involved in the business in any way, although he does receive royalties for his original product.
Only once the Plant Breeders’ rights have expired, will the public be allowed to produce their own Peppadews, but because the name is registered as a trademark, you won’t be able to call it a Peppadew.
A plant breeders’ right is a form of intellectual property that is granted to breeders of new plant species for protection against exploitation. Once a plant variety is approved, a plant breeders’ right is valid for 25 years for vines and trees, calculated from the date on which registration is issued, or, 20 years for all annual varieties, calculated from the date on which registration is issued. Read more about Plant Breeders’ Rights.
Did you know?
Woolworths are the only store that Pepperdew International will do a home brand for. Their loyalty lies in the fact that Woolworths helped to get the company off its feet in the early days.