IFEAT Study Tours are Back on the Road!

Due to circumstances outside IFEAT’s control, the study tours to Sri Lanka in 2019 and India in 2020 had to be postponed. As knowledge and control over the COVID-19 pandemic improves, and we are more able to ensure the health and safety of participants in a post COVID-19 environment, so IFEAT’s plans for several future study tours are taking place.

South Africa Study Tour – 4th to 12th November 2022

Plans are well advanced for an IFEAT study tour to South Africa in early November 2022 – an ideal time to see the growing and processing of many essential oil crops. South Africa is an increasingly important global supplier of essential oils, and the region is a significant area for lesser-known indigenous essential oils and botanicals, which are making their way into new cosmetic and cosmeceutical formulations. 

Many IFEAT members may remember 15 years ago in November 2006 when Cape Town, a beautiful and unique part of the world to visit, was the venue for a superb IFEAT annual Conference, in glorious weather conditions. The Cape area has the largest floral kingdom in the world and has the third-highest level of biodiversity! Moreover, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The itinerary

The South Africa study tour will begin in Cape Town, visiting the magnificent Western Cape province, and delegates will have the opportunity to see the harvesting and processing of a range of familiar and unique essential oils. Fynbos (fine leaved plants) are a distinctive type of flora found only on the southern tip of Africa. Fynbos oils include buchu, Cape chamomile, Blue Mountain sage, and Cape snowbush. In addition, there will be an opportunity to see first-hand some unique farms in the area, as well as organic rosemary, lavender, and Artemisia afra.

On the third day we fly east to Durban in KwaZulu-Natal province, where we will visit one of the larger tea tree producing sites, with an onsite rum distillery for tastings. Production in the area also includes lemongrass, niaouli, lemon tea tree, rose geranium and organic Eucalyptus radiata oils. Then we take a flight north to Mpumalanga province which will provide the opportunity to see the harvesting and production of several different eucalyptus species. 

The final day will be spent on safari, incorporating game drives and bush walks providing first-hand experience of fragrant and medicinal plants. The wrap up evening will be spent under the African sky with traditional dancers and drumming. 

South Africa offers some excellent award-winning hotel accommodation, and in one of them an essential oil roundtable will be held involving additional essential oil producers, and some South African organisations from the F&F sector. As on previous tours, one can expect a wealth of knowledge amongst the delegates, some of which is shared during the popular “bus lectures”. 

IFEAT is working with a local tour agent, Africa Awaits, which has been operating for over two decades and specialises in overseas incoming travel. The company is well set up to work with the specific requirements of an IFEAT study tour.

So join us on one of next year’s IFEAT study tours and have some unique educational and cultural experiences in the world of natural essential oils, among a community of colleagues eager to learn more and exchange knowledge about our fascinating industry.  

More information on the Spanish and South African study tours will be available on the IFEAT website soon and if you have any queries, either regarding these tours or study tours in general, then please email: [email protected]

Registration will be online and is on a “first come, first served” basis.

Delegates must agree to the IFEAT Code of Conduct and COVID requirements in place at the time of each tour.


Focused Study Tour to Spain – 26th February to 1st March 2023

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation and restrictions on international travel, the planned Focused Study Tour on Spanish Lemon, originally scheduled for February 2022, is now scheduled for26th February to 1st March 2023.

Even before the onset of COVID-19 planning was underway for a new type of study tour – the IFEAT Focused Study Tour (FST), organised for IFEAT members in addition to the regular study tours. Compared with existing IFEAT study tours, the objectives of an FST include:

  • Shorter duration – two to three days – and thus less time out of the office
  • Lower cost
  • Appeal to a wider range of F&F industry participants
  • Centred on one location, thus minimising hotel bookings and transport costs
  • No frills tours i.e., staying at 3* or 4* hotels
  • No gifts

IFEAT study tours have continued to be very popular, as the great success of the last tour to Spain in June 2018 illustrated. However, during that tour there was little discussion of citrus oils, and particularly lemon oil. Therefore, it was agreed that the first FST should be to the Spanish lemon sector based in Murcia in southeast Spain, the centre of the lemon growing region. Considerable planning has already been done with Spanish members and AILIMPO (Asociación Interprofesional De Limón Y Pomelo) for an FST to take place  with up to 37 participants. Registration will be limited to IFEAT member companies. During the tour visits will be made to lemon growing orchards – both traditional and organic – as well as packing and processing operations. The visits will include a detailed briefing on the Spanish lemon sector by AILIMPO and various question and answer sessions. In addition, it is planned to hold a pre-tour webinar at which participants can meet up and be briefed on the tour and discuss aspects of the lemon sector with the companies involved.