Petitgrain Petitgrain (Paraguay)


2022 Sourcing Impact

Total Lives Impacted: 1,135

  • People Empowered via Sourcing Jobs: 200

  • Lives Supported by Sourcing Jobs: 920

  • Lives Impacted through Social Impact Projects: 215

Petitgrain Citrus aurantium

Petitgrain has a variety of historical uses supported by emerging scientific evidence.

Why Paraguay?

The bitter orange trees used for Petitgrain essential oil are from central and eastern Paraguay. Paraguayan farmers have produced petitgrain for decades, so they know how to distill high-quality products. By sourcing Petitgrain from Paraguay through our Co-Impact Sourcing® initiative, we support rural community development projects and provide diversified income for small-scale farmers.

The Production Process

Petitgrain comes from the bitter orange tree. Three essential oils are derived from the bitter orange tree: Petitgrain from the leaves and twigs, Neroli from the blossoms, and Orange from cold-pressing fruit rinds. However, the same tree can’t produce all three, which is one reason why we source Petitgrain essential oil from Paraguay and Neroli essential oil from Egypt.

Petitgrain is sourced from small-scale producers in Paraguay who grow, harvest, and distill the essential oil on their land. Many farmers use the trees as a “savings” account—when they need additional funds for something (like school), they harvest the trees, produce the essential oil, and sell it for needed income. Trees can be harvested up to twice a year, and the leaves and twigs that have already been distilled are used as mulch, fuel for the distillation units, or animal feed.

doTERRA Source to You Story: Petitgrain Essential Oil

Impact Stories: Environmental Stewardship

Bitter orange trees grow throughout Paraguay, but because petitgrain demand has decreased over the last few decades while the demand for crops like soy and corn has increased, many farmers are clearing forests and bitter orange groves to produce high-demand crops. Unfortunately, forestlands are being destroyed at an alarming pace in eastern Paraguay, so these trees and the rich biodiversity of the Atlantic Forest are under threat.

Paraguayan Petitgrain farmers also produce other crops like yerba maté, manioc, sweet potatoes, peanuts, and vegetables. In recent years, many large-scale farmers have cleared their land completely, planting only soy or corn. Doing so depletes the soil and removes habitats for animals. Encouraging farmers to diversify their fields and produce petitgrain not only provides farmers with a diverse income, but it also propagates environmentally friendly alternatives for land use.

Sourcing from Paraguay provides farmers with an economically viable alternative to clear-cutting land, dramatically helping preserve the Atlantic Forest in eastern Paraguay. Many farmers in Paraguay don’t have titles to their lands or even bank accounts, which means they can’t receive loans or access agricultural support like crop extension services. By sourcing Petitgrain essential oil in Paraguay, we provide another stream of income for hundreds of marginalized small-scale farmers and indigenous producers, ensure a sustainable supply of high-quality Petitgrain essential oil, and preserve parts of the Atlantic Forest.

Impact Stories: Social Impact

Partnering with Fundación Paraguaya, the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation® recently funded the construction of girls’ dormitories at a local school. The large, new dormitories accommodate more students so more girls can attend school. The new dormitories also feature air conditioning, making an enormous difference in the comfort and sleep quality of the students, especially during the hottest times of the year. New dormitories for boys are under construction as of summer 2022.



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