Our Sustainable Clove Oil Is Changing Lives For Spice Farmers

Our Sustainable Clove Oil Is Changing Lives For Spice Farmers

September 22, 2022

The East coast of Madagascar looks like paradise. Turquoise sea lapping at white sand beaches, palm trees curving into a clear blue sky and the scent of spices on the warm breeze.

But behind this beautiful landscape hides a dark secret - the corruption of the spice market. 

What are the challenges for spice farmers?

The region is famed for its spices and local farmers are dependent on their harvest and the export of cloves, black pepper and cinnamon.

These then get turned into our wonderful clove essential oil, cinnamon essential oil and black pepper essential oil.

It’s not an easy job being a spice farmer - the community is isolated and the poor roads make transporting the harvest tricky.

Add in the problems of deforestation, monsoon rains, cyclones and wildfires and you can see how small scale farmers are struggling.

But on top of all this the spice market is volatile and the farmers are frequently exploited by traders.

How our sustainable clove oil is changing lives for spice farmers?

You already know that our goal at The Soapery is to bring you fantastic quality products at the best prices, but we go further than that, we choose suppliers who are challenging corruption and fighting back.

Over the years our supplier has become a trusted and reliable buyer and they have been able to eliminate the corrupt practices of brokers or traders who take advantage of the small scale farmers. They are creating a traceable, transparent supply chain and setting up direct links with the farm gate to ensure farmers receive a fair and reliable income from their crops.

They have built two commercial processing facilities in Madagascar with the locations carefully chosen so the spices can be transported by boat to avoid the difficulties of the poor road system.

A new briquette machine has been installed which means the distillation biowaste from the production facilities gets turned into biofuel to run the equipment to minimise the environmental impact.

They’re also in negotiations with the Madagascan government to take on responsibility for 300ha of land for 25 years. This land will be regenerated and the soil health improved before sustainable farming practices are introduced to give the community new opportunities.

The community impact

Our supplier has become a trusted partner for local farmers, providing a fair and reliable alternative in an otherwise corrupt spice market. 

The briquette machine allows excess bricks to be used by the community as an alternative to firewood helping to reduce deforestation.

Community funding gives locals autonomy to invest in much-needed education, clean water and health initiatives.

  • Supporting 5,145 small-scale farmers
  • 26% of farmers are female. This growing industry creates opportunities for women to participate
  • 8,000 acres of land are being farmed and a new outgrower group helps rural farmers grow new crops such as ginger and develop vital skills to gain a valuable second income from their land
  • 6 field officers have been employed who officers provide agricultural education and support

Take a peek at our ‘Essential Oil Notes Explained’ blog to learn more about using and blending these exotic essential oils.

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