Solvay supplies guar derivatives to various sectors including the food, cosmetics, oil & gas extraction and textile industries.
India is the world's top guar producer with about 80 per cent of total production - the seeds of which are processed to obtain guar gum.
Grown mainly in India's semi-arid regions, the bean is the main resource for many farming communities but its production is volatile as it relies on monsoon rains.
Teach a man to fish scenario..
Solvay's three-year project also backed by L'Oréal, will work with 1,500 guar bean farmers across ten villages in the desert region of Bikaner to empower them with the tools to cultivate the crop in best practices; "resulting in more continuous, high-yield production".
"[Our] initiative and partnership with L'Oréal, acting as a founding member, brings many benefits - for farmer communities, their environment as well as for demanding industrial applications," says Emmanuel Butstraen, president of Solvay Novecare.
Ultimately, the project will help farmers to improve the use of water and preserve the soil - raising their income and support local communities.
Solvay's Novecare Global Business Unit first launched the initiative in 2013, which is also implemented by non-governmental organization TechnoServe, as part of the Group's sustainable development strategy 'Solvay Way'.
"[This] partnership is a concrete implementation of our "Sharing Beauty with All" sustainability commitment. By improving yields while promoting a suitable model of sustainable agriculture, we will improve the livelihood of farmers and protect local resources such as water, soil and biodiversity," adds Laurent Gilbert, director for international development of advanced research at L'Oréal.
Solvay's presence in India
Solvay's Novecare is already Asia's largest specialty surfactant manufacturer with 10 production sites, two research & innovation centers in Singapore and Shanghai, China, and a recently opened R&I laboratory in Tokyo, Japan.
Both facilities produce alkoxylates which form the chemical foundation for a broad offering of the brand's specialty surfactants, which are used for example in shampoos, detergents, paints, lubricants and plant protection.