Givaudan announces exclusive partnership for sustainable sourcing of patchouli

08 Dec 2014 · 15:30 CET
  • Farming partnerships: A new approach extends Givaudan’s ethical sourcing of natural perfumery materials. Long term commitments with selected partners for sustainable planting and local distillation of exclusive natural perfumery materials.
  • First agreement with GaiaOne and Kebun Rimau SDN BHD on the island of Borneo to develop and secure unique qualities of patchouli oil for Givaudan perfumery.

Geneva, 24 January 2014 | Givaudan’s first initiative in farming partnerships has been finalised through the signature of a long term exclusive agreement with local partner GaiaOne and Kebun Rimau SDN BHD in the Malaysian state of Sabah, on the island of Borneo. The partners have committed to develop sustainable plantations and local distillation of patchouli, an iconic natural raw material for both fine fragrance and functional perfumery, exclusively for Givaudan.

This announcement marks a significant development in Givaudan’s ethical sourcing initiatives, being one of the first long term agreements made directly with a grower to sustainably plant dedicated fields exclusively for the company.

Since 2007, Givaudan has committed to growing involvement at the source of natural fragrance ingredients, to secure iconic perfumery materials, ensure that production benefits farming communities and to encourage best environmental practices. Our ethical sourcing initiatives are all devoted to these aims. They require relationships with supplier partners whose business philosophies reflect our own and with whom we can work to ensure that oil quality, availability and social responsibility are the focus of every step from planting to distillation.

Production volumes and income from natural perfumery and flavour raw materials, though critical for fragrance and flavour creations, are very small in comparison to food crops. Such initiatives address the challenge of keeping growers interested in farming for the industry.

Stéphane Zwaans, Head of Origination at Givaudan said: “We are very excited to be working with GaiaOne to bring high quality, sustainable ingredients to our perfumers. The company reflects Givaudan’s Sustainability aspirations and the Kebun Rimau plantation is a wonderful example of the difference that vision can make to a business. The distinctive scent of patchouli oil is prized by perfumers; is key to many classic fragrance types and deserving of our commitment to its sustainability.”

Nicholas Graham, CEO GaiaOne said: “We are pleased to see this project move forward as it represents everything that we believe in. Relationships such as the Givaudan / GaiaOne partnership are the future for natural fragrance products and we very much hope that this is the first of many sustainable and transparent projects we will jointly nurture.”

Mrs Halizah Harris, Director Kebun Rimau SDN BHD said: “Partnering with Givaudan is a realisation of our vision. We believe that moving beyond the monoculture plantations that are common here is important for Borneo and its economy. We identified patchouli as a crop that we could grow well. Our philosophies are based upon respect for the earth and the environment at every production stage. We look forward to developing our plantation further as part of the GaiaOne project and a Givaudan partner.”

The name patchouli is derived from the old Tamil words meaning ‘green leaf’. The bushy herb belongs to the mint family genus Pogostemon and grows up to two or three feet in height. The oil from its aromatic leaves has been used for centuries in perfumery, due to its wonderful, strong scent. It was first brought to Europe in Egyptian shawls which were scented to repel insects and moths. The origin of the scent remained a closely guarded secret for many years. The world’s major craze for patchouli happened in Europe and America during the 1960s and 1970s.The natural essential oil is now widely used in perfumery. 

Farming partnership
This new step and extension in ethical sourcing corresponds to a long term commitment with carefully selected partners who sustainably plant dedicated fields exclusively for Givaudan. Plantations are organised with full respect of ecological equilibriums and local resources and selected partners share our long term vision of sustainability, transparency, authenticity and respect of biodiversity through poly-culture.

Givaudan’s Innovative Naturals programme and ethical sourcing initiatives
The Innovative Naturals programme, launched in 2007 includes several ethical sourcing initiatives – in Australia, Venezuela, Laos, Madagascar, the Comoros Islands, France, Haiti and now Malaysia. Each initiative aims to secure important fragrance materials and to enrich the palette of Givaudan's perfumers with new and exclusive naturals.

Close collaborations and alliances with local partners and expert organisations enable Givaudan to work to protect fragile supply chains to ensure the availability of materials in the future. The company also endeavours to support communities involved in the production of fragrance materials to improve their production processes and education infrastructures.

About Givaudan
As the leading company in the fragrance and flavour industry, Givaudan develops unique and innovative fragrance and flavour creations for its customers around the world. Our industry leadership position is underpinned by a sales and marketing presence in all major markets. Our perfumery team is the largest in the industry and our talents extend across three business areas: Fine Fragrances, Consumer Products and Fragrance Ingredients.

About GaiaOne
GaiaOne’s mission is to brand, market and distribute sustainable essential oils and other natural raw materials used widely in global consumer markets. GaiaOne takes a modern, transparent approach to the marketing and cultivation of these natural products for both business-to-business and direct to consumer distribution. At the same time funding initiatives to save the rainforest and other environmental causes, the company is seeking to update and refresh a traditional raw materials market.

About Kebun Rimau SDN BHD
Kebun Rimau SDN BHD is a family-owned company based in the Malaysian State of Sabah, on the island of Borneo, that invests in sustainable agriculture and is working with GaiaOne to market its products. The watchword of the Kebun Rimau SDN BHD plantation is Ecology. Crop cultivation methods used support biodiversity and work in true harmony with the ecosystems and rich environmental heritage of Borneo.

For further information please contact:

Linda Harman, Global Fragrance Division Communication
T +44 1233 644603
M +44 78 0277 6779