By Feature Editor Ms. Joy Cho (vice chairperson)
“The Republic of Kenya is a wonderful country and with very nice people and very good business opportunities for Korea. I have been working in the cosmetics industry for over 25 years, and while I was planning to develop a new cosmetic brand, I learned the existence of many good business opportunities in Kenya from a senior acquaintance of mine who ran a business in Kenya,” So said CEO/Founder Lee Yang-soo of Goldrock Purple Korea at a recent interview with The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean news publications since 1985.
CEO Lee then added: “In Kenya, I came across plant-based ingredients that can be used in various cosmetics, and I first selected Purple Tea from among the various ingredients.”
Excerpts from the interview follows:
Question: We hear that your company has developed wonderful cosmetic articles using green tea as row material. Please introduce your company and the developed products.
Answer: I have been working in the cosmetics industry for over 25 years, and while I was planning to develop a new cosmetic brand, I learned the existence of many good business opportunities in Kenya from a senior acquaintance of mine who ran a business in Kenya. Thanks to his kind support, I visited Kenya in search of cosmetic ingredients.
In Kenya, I came across plant-based ingredients that can be used in various cosmetics, and I first selected Purple Tea from among the various ingredients.
Q: What is ‘Purple Tea’? Please introduce the purple tea plant.
A: I found purple tea while visiting a local farm in Kenya in September 2019.
Purple tea is a hybrid of new varieties of tea tree named Camellia Sinensis (black tea, beech tea, green tea). It is a special variety that was improved in Kenya 25 years ago. It contains purple anthocyanin and is known to have higher antioxidant content than general tea tree.
Purple tea is a super ingredient for natural health and well-being. So, we researched and developed basic cosmetics with purple tea extract as a key ingredient in our products. Green Tea has an antioxidant inhibition rate of 34.3%, while Purple Tea has 51%.
Purple Tea contains about 1.6 times more polyphenols than Green Tea or Black Tea.
Q: Please introduce the cosmetic articles produced by Gold Rock Purple Korea.
A: We at the Gold Rock Purple Korea have been directly importing, directly extracting raw materials, making samples and exporting our goods to countries overseas.
We have also made best researchers in Korea, and conducted numerous sample tests to release a prototype in April 2021. We conducted customer reviews for six months.
In particular, the prototype was provided to the Kenyan Embassy in Seoul and the Kenyan Minister of Commerce and Industry has given good reviews, and we plan to enter the Kenyan cosmetics market in the near future. Based on these evaluation results, we have launched Purple Tea 3 types of skin care in March 2022.
Q: Please introduce the products of your company which may be told apart from those of other companies in terms of quality and other aspects.
A: We now wish to confidently recommend our products to our customers based on the results of the difficult process that took place about two years ago.
The biggest difference from other cosmetics articles is that all of our products contain more than 46% to 78% of purple tea extract instead of purified water, and only natural ingredients are used for additional ingredients.
All our products are dual functional variety that have been tested for hypo allergenicity.
Q: Please introduce the KTDA, which supplies raw materials.
A: KTDA was founded on June 15, 2000. KTDA is a private company owned by about 600,000 small holder tea farmers spread across 16 tea growing counties in Kenya.
Tea farmers are shareholders to 54 tea companies that KTDA and its 8 subsidiary companies.
Some of the 54 tea factory companies have expanded by satellite factories in their neighborhoods to accommodate the extra leaf.
The satellite factories are 15, who add up to 69, the total number of tea factories owned by small holder tea farmers.
The eight subsidiary companies owned by KTDA(H) add value to the tea value chain. These include chai trading Company Limited, KTDA (Management Services), Majani insurance broker, Kenya Tea Packers Limited, Greenland Fddha Limited, KTDA foundation, Tea Machinery and Engineering Company Ltd., KTDA power Company Limited and KTDA (MS)