Givaudan turns to Indonesia for sustainable patchouli

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Givaudan turns to Indonesia for sustainable patchouli
The Southeast Asia region welcomes flavours and fragrances producer Givaudan's efforts, as it develops its patchouli supply chain.

On 22 February 2018, the tastes and scents creator announced it is working alongside sustainable economic growth and non-governmental promoters, Swisscontact, to build upon its sustainable patchouli oil sourcing.

Partnership and funding

The efforts, which are funded by the Givaudan Foundation, will also strive to improve the conditions for smallholder producers communities on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia through a multi-year project that will look to preserve natural resources.

Since 2013, UK-based Givaudan has built a collection network in Indonesia that spans hundreds of smallholder farmers and patchouli oil distillers based on Sulawesi. This has led the company to obtain 100% supply of the ingredient.

Patchouli oil presence

Known for its earthy aroma and long-lasting nature, patchouli oil is hailed as an essential oil that is used to conceptualise and create fine fragrances. Derived from the patchouli plant, the oil is distilled from its dry leaves, and it is this remaining scent that inspires numerous fragrance selections.  

Increasingly, it has made a powerful name for itself in the release of new fragrance favourites such as biotechnology-led Akigalawood note, which belongs to the woods and mosses scent group.

Wider community initiative

Through its multi-year initiative, Givaudan aims to promote the importance of advocating best practices and securing better living standards for its community, while looking after treasured natural resources on the Sulawesi island.

Over 1,000 patchouli producers and their families in the community will receive access to training programmes on agricultural and distillation practices, management of household income, education and nutrition.

“We are strengthening our commitment to sustainable patchouli production in Indonesia as part of our approach to sourcing for shared value,”​ highlighted Willem Mutsaerts, Head of Global Procurement and Sustainability.

“For Givaudan, this means being present at source and supporting patchouli producers in the development of their smallholder businesses in a way that is respectful of the environment.”

A sustainable Sulawesi

To support the overall improvement of the supply chain, patchouli distillation units will be upgraded to advance energy efficiency. As part of the sustainability plans, trees will be planted to support a climate-smart cultivation approach and limit the amount of firewood used.  

Describing how these efforts “represent a first for sustainable Indonesian patchouli production in terms of scope”,​ Peter Bissegger, Director Market Development, Swisscontact, went on to say how “in partnership with the producers, their families and local government actors, we aim to help increase smallholder production yields, promote the protection of natural resources and create local ownership in the project.”

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