China: New partnership expands litsea seeds collection network, improves sustainability
Our new partnership with a supplier located in the heart of the litsea growing area is allowing us to source litsea cubeba seeds directly from seed collectors, increasing transparency in the supply chain through better visibility of the source and helping us secure our supply.
The inauguration of a distillation plant in collaboration with the same partner, Yongzhou Samshiang Flavours & Fragrances Corporation, is ensuring an environmental friendly production of the associated products.
Litsea cubeba oil is used in detergents and oral care products and its derivative, natural citral, is mainly used in flavours products and for fortifying lemon oil.
Grown naturally in six provinces in southern China, the seeds are harvested during July and August and those collected by the network provide us with 25-40% of our supply need.
The association of our field buyers and the sourcing expertise of our partner will allow us to extend the collection network to more litsea oil distillers, meeting our remaining need.
After collection, the seeds are distilled at the plant into litsea oil. Some of that oil is then further processed into natural citral. The distillation and processing plant - which features new technology and clean and controlled processes - operates on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) such as, for example, drying litsea oil residues and then reusing them as fuel for the distillation process. This and other GMP are expected to improve the impact of litsea cubeba distillation on the environment.
Together with Yongzhou Samshiang, we will keep working towards a continuous improvement of the supply chain and aim to implement a strong, transparent and economically competitive position.
“This partnership is a great example of our ‘Sourcing for Shared Value’ programme; it secures supply for us, helps to stabilise the livelihoods for litsea seeds collectors and finally to protect the environment.”