2021 Sourcing Impact
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Known for its ability to cleanse teeth and gums, Clove essential oil is also a stimulating and energizing oil that produces a warm, woody aroma.
Tropical and humid, the eastern coast of Madagascar has the perfect weather conditions for clove trees. Clove was first introduced to Madagascar in the early 1900s and has thrived on the island country. The hills of Madagascar’s eastern coast help protect clove plantations from cyclones.
Unlike clove trees in surrounding countries, Madagascar’s clove trees are grown under semi-wild conditions and only require occasional maintenance. Most clove trees grow in small groves of 10 to 50 trees and frequently grow alongside coffee trees.
The Harvesting and Distillation Process
The clove tree is originally from Southeast Asia, and most of clove production is for the spice industry. It takes clove trees about three years to mature, but they can live to be over 100. The essential oil comes from the clove buds, which are ready for harvest when they turn bright red—just before they blossom. Harvesting is performed by both men and women during the fall season. After the buds are harvested, they’re dried in the sun. Doing so not only extends the shelf life of the buds, but it also produces a higher quality and yield of Clove essential oil. After they’re dried, the buds are taken to the coastal town of Mananjary for steam distillation.
Impact Stories: Generating Jobs
Farmers in Mananjary—a community on the eastern coast of Madagascar—have traditionally grown two crops for the market: coffee and rice. Unfortunately, the farmers are consistently short-changed for their work as intermediaries buy up the supply and increase the price and profits for themselves.
For Joseph Claudis and Rosine (two Mananjary farmers), these two crops didn’t provide sufficient income for their family’s needs. In the last few years, they’ve cultivated clove trees to supplement their income. Harvesting and selling clove provides an additional income stream, which Joseph Claudis and Rosine use to support their son’s education. Our sourcing partner works with small-scale farmers like Joseph Claudis and Rosaline to generate jobs in the community, while also sourcing high-quality essential oil in our pursuit of purity.