Rose petals are an important natural resource in the fragrance industry and at Robertet they are sourced from Turkey with more than 800 tons processed at the company’s site in Senir every year.
Building on its successful relationship with the local community, Robertet has introduced a series of sustainable measures including financing a local school.
Meanwhile off the west coast of Madagascar on Nosy Be, a tiny island famed for its production of rare ylang ylang, Robertet has established a farming joint venture with a local who has years of experience in the production of spices, vanilla and aromatic plants. The land is divided into 60 hectares for ylang ylang production with the vast majority – 130 hectares – given over to wild forest. The remaining area is dedicated to reforestation, villages and production.
Robertet is providing training and technical assistance to improve the yield and distillation process of this special material and has implemented a forest management scheme. In addition to these measures, financial assistance has been provided to improve local living conditions for the 75 families in the four villages that work on the farm and all the children in the community now go to school.
In South Africa, Robertet South Africa Aromatics focuses on the production of raw materials such as spilanthes, tagetes and benzadehyde as well as operating a centre of botanic research and expertise. The production of spilanthes is carried out by the local community and Robertet provides pre-financing to guarantee income for the 30 people who rely on the harvest.
In line with government regulations, the land has been reallocated to black farmers in the region – descendents of the Gotsube tribe who originally owned the land. However, the reallocation has come with support and training programmes provided by the neighbouring white farmers.
Robertet is a major shareholder in the company Plantes Aromatiques du Diois (SAPAD) that sources organic geranium bourbon from the island of Madagascar. To help support the community, SAPAD has been a major supporter of the School Association, an organisation set up to improve local living conditions, provide education, offer hygiene training and promote organic principles as well as sustainable agriculture.
Finance has also been offered to support 52 classes for more than 1,500 children, the building of homes for teachers, the sponsorship of 350 families, the creation of fresh water wells and a new market in Manakarabe.
Robertet is also a major shareholder in the company Plantes Aromatiques du Diois (SAPAD) that sources lemongrass and patchouli from India through a partnership with the Phaladaayi Foundation, a non-government organisation committed to conserving bio-diversity.
This partnership vigorously supports good sustainable practice in India such as recruiting and training local farmers; transforming areas into land that is ideal for organic production and ensuring fair prices for products. A total of 110 people are supported by the foundation and all members must confirm to common ‘social justice’ that encourages education for children and improved family hygiene.