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Market outlook: Organic Essential Oils

Andrew Walter, Earthoil Plantatoins Ltd.

For most people in the natural products’ trading world, the organic movement is not large enough of a market segment to warrant much attention. But keen observers who look at emerging trends will see that the fastest growth category in essential oils is the organic category.


Currently, the organic market segment is miniscule in size; less than 1 percent of the trade in essential oils is in the organic sector. However, the rate of growth for the organic essential oil sector in the United States is close to 20 percent per annum, which is far above the growth rate of the total market. It is apparent that in every essential oil market the growth of the organic sector clearly outweighs that of the remainder of the market.

At the 2005 IFEAT conference, held in Cochin, India, a segment of the technical program was dedicated to discussing the essential oil organic market. It was the first time that the organic market was deemed important enough to warrant its own program. Although it was scheduled for the final spot on the last day of the conference, ultimately, 150 people attended the session. This indicated the interest generated by this one topic within the essential oil industry, and this last IFEAT program became, for many, a highlight of the conference.

Is this an important clue to the development of the organic section of the essential oil market? And is it important that more attention be paid to this developing segment? Perhaps not for all producers or traders, because the organic sector is still the province of the dedicated enthusiast. However, it is growing because there are an increasing number of people who value the principles on which the organic market stands.

Other topics covered: Why organic?, certification and legislation, production of organic essential oils, Mount Kenya farmers group, organic mint growing in India, organic tee tree oil in Zimbabwe, the future. 

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

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