2022 Sourcing Impact
Total Lives Impacted: 31,308
People Empowered via Sourcing Jobs: 6,806
- Lives Supported by Sourcing Jobs: 31,308
As a milder alternative to other mint essential oils, Spearmint is gentle enough to use topically or while cooking—without losing any of its freshness.
By sourcing Spearmint essential oil from rural parts of northern India, we support hundreds of small-scale farmers. These farmers diversify their fields to include essential oil crops like spearmint and thus increase their incomes three to five times. Spearmint is typically a perennial plant, but in India it’s grown as an annual plant and produces a unique chemical profile as a result.
One of the primary chemical constituents of Spearmint essential oil can be easily and cheaply produced synthetically. As creating synthetic products or adulterating pure essential oils with synthetic constituents has grown in scale, the need for natural spearmint oil has gone down, so many farmers gave up growing it.
However, spearmint can still be a powerful cash crop for farmers. It can easily grow between the seasons of two common crops for the area, providing valuable additional income for farmers and their families. Our standards of only providing completely pure and natural essential oils—including Spearmint—supports thousands of people.
The Harvesting and Distillation Process
Spearmint flourishes in temperate climates and can grow from 11 to 40 inches tall. Farmers can grow it in addition to traditional crops like wheat, potatoes, and corn. They can also rotate spearmint through their fields after each harvest so they can have three different harvests during the year instead of just one, earning more income from their land. Doing so also benefits the soil, regenerating it for future productivity.
Each farmer takes their spearmint harvest to a community distillation unit, which is usually within a half mile of their land. The whole aerial plant—the part of the plant growing above ground—is steam-distilled for the essential oil, which takes about eight hours.
Empowering People: Fair and On-Time Payments
Farmers can bring their essential oil directly to our partner in India to be tested and purchased. Farmers can wait during purity testing and, when approved (usually within an hour), can choose to sell right then for cash or go to a different buyer. Farmers generally choose to sell directly to our partner because of the fair and transparent price.