Project supporting growers in Indonesia
In our co-operation with Caritas Czech Republic, we have become involved in a project supporting patchouli growers in the province of Aceh, Indonesia. We are using part of the proceeds generated from sales of the special Botanicus Patchouli cosmetics range to support farmers in Aceh through Caritas Czech Republic. We believe direct support for farmers is much needed and for each product sold we will send 20% to Caritas Czech Republic to help develop local agriculture there. Co-operation with Caritas Czech Republic, who have operated in Indonesia for more than seven years, is our assurance that our support will go to its recipients quickly and effectively.
“Aceh should be a wealthy tropical paradise, yet in reality most of its citizens are growers who make only enough to provide for their basic livelihood ,“ says Megan King, Head of Caritas Czech Republic ́s Humanitarian Aid and Development Co-operation division. “Almost twenty percent of the population live below the poverty threshold of one dollar per day (2011). A combination of armed conflict, natural disasters, insufficient knowledge of modern growing methods and lack of working capital have all inhibited the economic development of most people living in Aceh“.
Patchouli (Pogostemon Cablin)
A tropical plant of the Lamiaceae family which grows to a height of around 70 cm. The plant is native to tropical regions of Asia, and is now extensively cultivated in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. Patchouli has a strong scent, which is why it has been used for centuries in perfumes. It is also used to create aromas for products such as paper towels, detergents, air fresheners and incense. Patchouli oil (Pogostemon cablin) is obtained from dried fermented leaves.
Patchouli grows in the fields for a period of between six and nine months. It is then harvested – the leaves and stems are dried and cut into small pieces. Extraction is undertaken using steam distillation, delivering a golden-coloured essential oil which is used in the manufacture of cosmetics, perfumes and detergents. Aceh used to be a worldleader in patchouli production, but the thirty-year civil war and the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 had huge negative impacts on essential oil production in the region. Although experts agree that the aroma, purity and alcohol content in patchouli grown in Aceh are of above-average quality, the patchouli industry in Aceh has had to endure heavy competition at home, and beyond Indonesia ́s borders. The global share of patchouli production in Aceh has fallen from its original ninety percent to less than thirty percent. By buying and using these high quality products from the Botanicus patchouli range, you are also helping towards the support and future of farmers in the region. Thank you.