Givaudan Leads Lavender Journey


Givaudan’s Marypierre Julien and Olivier Fallet.

Givaudan is taking bold steps to support the production of a formative—and beloved—ingredient in the world of contemporary fragrance.

Grown on every continent across the globe and utilized for its therapeutic properties since ancient times, lavender is used in a wide variety of formulations today—from fine fragrance to personal care to home and fabric care products.

In Brazil, lavender is included in approximately 40% of women’s fragrances as well as most soaps, shampoos and detergents, Givaudan said.

However, its existence in the Provence region of France is currently under threat, where a bacteria known as Stolbur’s phytoplasma weakens the plant over a period of three years until it dries out to a greyish straw.

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Lush lavender fields in Provence.

Climate changes have caused proliferation of the insect, a leafhopper, that spreads the disease—which is called the “dépérissement” or “decline” by lavender growers, some of whom have lost up to half of their crop.

In response, Givaudan has expanded its Innovative Naturals Program, which was launched in 2007 to enrich the palette of its perfumers with new and exclusive naturals. (The program seeks to protect fragile supply chains and support local communities that are involved in production via optimized processes and educational infrastructures.)

By building on its existing relationship with the local growers cooperative France Lavande and becoming a member of CRIEPPAM—a fragrant plants research organization—Givaudan has forged a three-pronged effort to finance the supply of certified healthy lavender plants from CRIEPPAM to the approximately 150 members of France Lavande.

Accordingly, more farmers are encouraged to join the cooperative, which in turn works to evaluate and improve lavender quality each year.

In addition, Givaudan financially supported the development of four plant nurseries that will supply 40% of plant needs for the 2013 lavender crop in France.

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