Givaudan strengthens vetiver supply from Haiti

Cooperative of 160 vetiver growers will benefit from agreement to supply Givaudan perfumers

Fragrance and flavour specialist Givaudan has partnered with the world's largest producer and exporter of vetiver oil, Agri-Supply, to form a cooperative of 160 Haitian vetiver growers producing an exclusive vetiver oil quality for Givaudan's perfumers.

Vetiver oil has been widely used in perfumery since the 18th century and is obtained by the steam distillation of the roots of the vetiver plant. There are several varieties and the best quality of Vetiveria zizanioides (the kind used in perfumery) come from Haiti.

The Givaudan/Agri-Supply cooperative is formed of growers in three Haitian villages: Massey, Faucault and Bazelais. According to Givaudan, growers in the cooperative benefit benefit from a guaranteed minimum price and regular technical support to help improve the vetiver harvesting and distilling processes; the roots, for example, are harvested only in the dry season and at maturity, and they are cleaned in the field to limit soil erosion. The essence resulting from this programme has been declared organic and ESR (equitable, sustainable, responsible) by Ecocert.

The Haitian vetiver programme forms part of the company's ongoing Innovative Naturals programme, which includes similar initiatives for sandalwood in Australia, tonka bean in Venezuela, benzoin in Laos, vanilla in Madagascar, ylang ylang in the Comoros and lavender in France. It enables actions to be undertaken in Haiti that are mutually beneficial to both the business and the communities involved, such as the recent repair of the road that serves the three villages, which not only ensures that vetiver is transported more quickly to the distillery, but strengthens the connections between the villages and their communities.

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