Fairer Flavors & Fragrances for All

by Treatt plc

Consumers today have a conscience. Natural, organic, ethical and sustainable have become everyday vocabulary. In 2007, the United States was the largest market for fair trade products, with the United Kingdom having the highest spend per capita. The global fair trade market is predicted to reach $1600 million by 2012.1 This indicates significant potential for food and beverage manufacturers who are both keen to employ more ethical practices and capitalize on this growing market, as well as for fragrances. The flavor industry in particular, which is continually in pursuit of unusual and exotic flavors to meet consumer demand, frequently sources its ingredients from the developing regions at the center of the fair trade debate. 

Equally, fair trade in the fragrance and personal care industry is on the increase. For a number of years, the beauty market has been the subject of media criticism in terms of the ethical and environmental impact. As a result, consumer demand for personal care products using natural, ethical and sustainable ingredients has risen, and manufacturers have been under pressure to respond. 

Since the concept of fair trade hit the mainstream, however, the number of product launches has remained steady. Like organic produce, it takes longer for manufacturers to source fair trade ingredients and develop end products. Because of this, consumer demand for fair trade products has outweighed supply. Many perfumers, flavorists and manufacturers are therefore seeking ingredient suppliers to help them respond by providing the ingredients to create ethical products and bridge the gap between supply and demand.

Guaranteeing a Fair Deal

In 2007, Treatt invested in the Earthoil group of companies, which manufactures and supplies organically-certified and fairly traded essential and pressed seed oils. The fundamental of fair trade is paying a fair price. Earthoil purchases its oils directly from source and at a fair and sustainable price. It also works closely with growers, exchanging knowledge and offering advice to aid efficient and sustainable organic growing practices. Growers benefit from the group’s global market knowledge and can therefore tailor their crop planning to meet market demand. It also offers expert advice on geographical issues, crop and soil suitability and irrigation requirements, as well as sharing best practice on processing, distilling and storage techniques. These factors ensure a fair price and a sustainable living for growers, particularly in developing regions.

A Win-win Situation

Consumers are more aware than ever of the world around them. They are concerned about the impact the foods they eat and the personal care products they use have on the environment and on others. By developing products using fairly traded fragrance and flavor ingredients, manufacturers can appease consumer conscience and create successful products ethically.


1. The next step in the ethical consumer revolution. Datamonitor, March 12, 2008

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