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Organic and Fair Trade Mint Oil: India

Contact Author Rob Hardy, Earthoil, with an introduction by Jeb Gleason-Allured, Editor
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Mint farmer

Mint farmer in India.

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This is only an excerpt of the full article that appeared in P&F Magazine. The full content is not currently available online.

Introduction

Earthoil (Staffordshire, England), a subsidiary of Treatt plc (Bury St. Edmunds, England), has been awarded IMO (Institute for Marketecology) Fair for Life (www.fairforlife.net) status for its Indian mint growing operation in Uttar Pradesh, from which organic and conventional oils are produced: peppermint, spearmint, corn mint, menthol and dementholized oil.

Hugo Bovill, managing director of Treatt plc, explains that Indian mint is traditionally purchased from processors who in turn purchase mint from dealers who in turn buy it from farmers, creating a lengthy and costly “middle man” supply chain scenario—little of which benefits the farmers. Earthoil instead purchases directly from 600-plus collectivized farmers, making some of its payments through an independent charitable foundation. The Earthoil Foundation was established to oversee both premium payments to the farmers for their organic products and a separate payment into a farmer-led community fund which provides everything from organic inputs to health and education improvements within the villages. The arrangement’s Fair for Life certification recognizes standards of social accountability and fair trade in agricultural, manufacturing and trading operations. According to an official statement, “The criteria for this accreditation include guaranteeing good working conditions, respecting core labor rights and ensuring smallholder groups have a fair relationship with farmer organizations (or the contracting company) and the individual farmer.”

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