Earthoil has built a reputation for the supply of fair traded essential and pressed seed oils that meet increasing demands for ingredients that are both natural-based but also functional. Based in the UK, Earthoil has a processing plant in Kenya, plantations in Southern Africa and co-ordinated grower projects in India that all work towards tough international organic certification for oils that are mostly distributed in Europe and the US. "This venture is a strategic investment for Treatt," said Hugo Bovill, managing director, Treatt. "It will enable us to develop innovative products, for example 100 per cent natural, organic isolates and the Treattrome range." Bovill went on to explain that the deal would have specific implications for the cosmetics sector, as this type of ingredient is mainly targeted at this area. Earthoil has an extensive range of organic ingredients commonly used in cosmetic products, including apricot kernel oil, lemon oil, geranium oil, cocoa butter and papaya seed oil. "Working with Treatt strengthens our operations in all areas by drawing on its market reputation, significant industry expertise and experience as a world leader in agricultural food science analysis," said Campbell Walter, Earthoil sales and marketing director." "With access to Treatt's international network, we will broaden our support to our worldwide customers and further strengthen our reputation as an industry leader in the supply of organic essential and pressed seed oils," he added. The deal was forged on February 26 and is effective immediately, but the terms and conditions of the contract were not divulged. Market research company Organic Monitor estimates that the European market for natural and organic products is currently growing at 20 per cent a year, and is set to surpass a value of €1bn. In line with this growth there has been a huge influx of products on the market featuring fruit and vegetable extracts, many of which take advantage of properties such as anti-oxidants and a range of vitamins that are now being combined in skin and hair care products.