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Givaudan collaboration aims to boost lavender supply

By Andrew MCDOUGALL , 01-Feb-2013

Swiss fragrance firm Givaudan has collaborated with a French fragrant plants research organisation and one of its cooperative members as it looks to boost the supply chain of lavender; a herbal scent used in many perfume and cosmetics products.

Givaudan became a member of CRIEPPAM and has built a three-way partnership in which it finances the supply of certified healthy lavender plants from the organisation to the cooperative members of France Lavande.

The new development is part of an expansion to Givaudan’s Innovative Naturals program; an initiative launched in 2007 with the aim of enriching the palette of the company's perfumers with new and exclusive naturals, whilst also preserving natural resources, maintaining future supply of raw materials, and operating a sustainable business model.

Threat

The collaboration came about as the blue-gold of Provence that produces the lavender plant is threatened by bacteria known as Stolbur's phytoplasma that weakens the plant over a period of three years until it dries out.

It is transmitted by a tiny insect that infects both lavender and lavandin and is spread by the sap throughout every part of the plant. The disease is contagious and, in the early stages, the plant doesn't show symptoms of contamination, so it is difficult to identify.

The disease is well known to French Lavender growers; they commonly call it the 'dépérissement' or 'decline', and recent European climate changes have caused proliferation of the insect which spreads the disease and further weakened plants through periods of drought.

Looking ahead

The partnership aims to encourage farmers to join the cooperative and to collaboratively evaluate and improve lavender quality each year to strengthen this crop in the future.

“In this way Givaudan is able to support the production of healthy lavender plants and thus protect lavender from Provence for the fragrance industry,” says a company statement.

The company has also financially supported the development of four plant nurseries that will supply 40 per cent of the plant needs for the 2013 crop in France.

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