Caring for jasmine fields and farmers in Egypt
A unique approach to help farmers find sustainable ways of protecting one of the most precious and iconic flowers in perfumery.
The nutrient-rich soil of the Nile Delta is home to more than 90% of Egypt’s jasmine fields. This fragrant flower blooms for seven months of the year, providing a stable income to producers and pickers. But insects and pests are a constant threat, so farmers rely on plant protection measures. Givaudan and the Givaudan Foundation are helping to make sure that these measures are sustainable.
Did you know that Egypt and India
are the world’s top two jasmine producers?
Jasmine, an iconic flower of the perfumer’s palette
For perfumers, jasmine remains one of the most central and cherished ingredients of all time. Adored for its multifaceted sensuality and honeyed scent, the mythical white flower nurtures the imagination and endlessly unveils new creative possibilities.
Protecting fields, farmers and families
A third-party assessment of the jasmine supply chain in the Nile Delta region revealed that farmers lacked knowledge on how to safely manage and apply pesticides to their fields. The result: potential environmental issues, as well as health risks for the farmers and their families.
So, in 2019, the Givaudan Foundation – which aims to support the communities where Givaudan sources and operates, caring for the people producing natural ingredient and for their environment - decided to initiate a special project to promote environmentally sustainable plant protection measures, in line with the Company’s Naturals at Origin strategy and sustainability commitments.
It was carried out in partnership with Givaudan’s jasmine supplier, A. Fakhry & Co, and an organisation specialised in environmental consulting and fair trade training: Des Enjeux et des Hommes, a subsidiary of the Ecocert Group. It also ensures ongoing coaching to jasmine farmers through the presence of technicians in the jasmine fields.
The idea is to help small-scale jasmine farmers shift towards safer, more sustainable farming practices.
“What makes this project unique is the synergy between Givaudan, its supplier, the Foundation, and our training partner. It’s a great example of what we can achieve when we all focus on the same goal and commit to positive, long-term changes, with everyone bringing their expertise to the benefit of jasmine-producing communities.”
Laetitia Vuillemenot, Givaudan Foundation Lead
Responsible sourcing in action
Due to the pandemic, we took a ‘train the trainer’ approach. This meant training 240 local jasmine farmers in supply chain sustainability practices. The result? All jasmine producers are trained and there is an ongoing presence of technicians in the field.
“Initiatives such as this allow us to go beyond the typical customer-supplier relationship and support the entire community. These partnerships are essential to make our sustainability commitments a reality while maintaining the production of a high-quality Jasmine grandiflorum, appreciated by the world’s greatest perfumers for its beautiful scent.”
Maxence Billas, Head Procurement Fine Fragrance & Active Beauty
The project further strengthened Givaudan's relationships with suppliers and local communities, in line with the Company's purpose of ‘creating for happier, healthier lives with love for nature’ through sustainable innovation and people-oriented solutions.
Following up for the future
Our solid training programme has had a real impact on farmers’ behaviour. For example, they now use insect traps to better position the protection measures in their fields. 100% of the farmers are now using organic fertilisers, insect traps and learnt how to produce their own compost.
After this very encouraging start, we will continue to offer coaching and support to jasmine producers across the Nile Delta.
Visit the Givaudan Foundation website to find out more about our environmental and community projects all over the world.