Earthoil grower projects
We carefully select and establish grower projects by studying the demand and the marketplace for the product and also by paying particular attention to the people and the environment in which the project is being established. This way the project will have true longevity for all involved. The project must be able to work under organic status and benefit the relevant grower community. Earthoil sets the following criteria when establishing and managing grower projects:
- Fair prices for all farmers and respect for people in the community
- Farming methods which protect the local environment
- A consistent and reliable market demand for the products in question
- Careful selection of planting materials which will work specifically in that environment
- Access to experienced agronomists and field officers for all farmers
- Education on organic farming methods and practices for all farming communities.
Sharing our experience
Our Special Projects Director checks on the progress of Earthoil’s projects, ensuring organic certification issues are dealt with and helping the staff on the ground with any issues they might have. Earthoil employs an agronomist and field officers to ensure the farmers have access to their expertise on a regular basis. This means the projects have the best chances of crop success for the farmers while also benefiting the environment through better farming practices for the soil, water, wildlife and so on.
Known as the “Tree of Life” by the Berbers, argan trees are indigenous to the inhospitable and remote Souss Valley area of Morocco where their thorny and gnarled trunks can grow as high as 8–10 metres and live for hundreds of years. The Berber women have known the value of the argan tree for centuries, using the nuts and oil for food and skin care.
Avocado (Persea armeniaca) trees grow to 10–20 m high and bear large pear-shaped fruits which have a green-skinned, fleshy body and a leathery green or blackish skin, a large stony seed, and a greenish-yellow edible pulp. The avocado was first grown in Mexico about 9000 years ago. The Aztecs named the avocado ahuacatl which means “butter of the forest” because of its high-fat and nutrient-dense properties.
The Adansonia digitata tree is a deciduous tree which can live for many thousands of years, growing up to 30 metres in height and 15 metres in diameter. Baobab, as it is more commonly known, can be traced back to the time of the Egyptians where inscriptions on bark have been found and identified.
Coconuts are prolific across the tropical and sub-tropical parts of the globe and have been used for thousands of years – as a food source, for the fibre (coir) and for the wood itself. Coconut oil, which is produced from the coconut flesh, has historical use as a cosmetic ingredient, both as a skin moisturiser and hair conditioner.
Earthoil’s macadamia nuts come from small-scale African farmers in the Kenyan highlands – often the rejected nuts from the food grade traders. This has assisted the small-scale farmers to establish a separate income stream not open to them previously, helping make macadamia nut farming a viable industry for these marginalised farmers.
Most Ethanol is derived unsustainably from fossil fuel feedstock by the petrochemical industry. Earthoil has responded to increased global demand for sustainably-sourced ingredients with the launch of an organic, fair trade (Fair for Life), sugar cane-derived alternative to petro-ethanol. The latest addition to Earthoil’s portfolio is produced sustainably from organic sugar cane at a family-owned facility in the San Antonio region of Brazil. Using technology designed to maintain the ecological and social harmony of the surrounding environment, the ethanol is grown, harvested and processed according to a tightly controlled, holistic system.
Roses have been grown for their unique aroma since the dawn of time. It is thought that the fragrant damask rose (Rosa damascena) was first cultivated in Anatolia several millennia ago and brought to Europe from Damascus during the Crusades. In 1978, Damask roses were replanted on the slopes of the Lalehzar Mountains in of Kerman province of southern Iran, thus renewing a lost tradition that goes back hundreds of years.
Earthoil’s 100% organic rosehip (Rosa rubiginosa) grows wild in Lesotho, a beautiful landlocked country surrounded by South Africa. It is very mountainous and the highest country in the world, the lowest point being 1,400 metres above sea level. The plant grows prolifically along the banks of the major rivers in the mountainous areas of Lesotho as the cold, high altitude of this small country is ideally suited to the plant, and the water courses carry and deposit the seeds with ease.
Earthoil’s organic and FairTrade certified farmers’ group, based around the foothills of Mount Kenya, grows and produce tea tree oil. Not only does the income that this provides support more than 600 families, but they also benefit from the fair trade development premium, which is used in social projects around the farming community.