Agri Resources Madagascar, Essential Oils Distellery, SAVA Region Madagascar
With Madagascar offering one of the purest environments as well as extraordinary flora, it is not a surprise that essential oils produced on the Red Island are highly appreciated by high-end brands and consumers all over the world.
The island is home to 12 000 plant species (or 3% of those on the entire planet) and many of them exist only in Madagascar. Over centuries, Malagasy people have studied this plant richness and gained knowledge of the active agents of countless medicinal plants and how to extract their hidden wealth: the essential oils.
It is in this context that Agri Resources Madagascar’s team embarked on a new adventure to produce high-quality bio-certified essential oils.
As Matthieu Lougarre CEO of the Vanilla & Spices division of Agri Resources Group, explained, the idea was born in 2017, when the company acquired the 125ha vanilla plantation (3rd for the group) located in the SAVA region, in the North-East of Madagascar along the Ankavy River, not far from Antalaha – a small town, considered as the capital of vanilla. The 125ha plantation offers favourable conditions for the cultivation of cultures complementary to vanilla, such as patchouli, ginger and turmeric.
Today, the team is happy to announce that the project is coming to light, with the inauguration of Agri Resources Madagascar owned Essential Oils Distillery.
The new distillery equipped with a pressure boiler (up to 6 bar and a capacity of 400Kg of steam/h) and two independent stills of 2,500 litres each has been completed and is currently processing the first test batches.
Agri Resources Madagascar, Innaguration of Essential Oils Distellery,
During the last 4 years, the team has been carefully preparing the project, assuring that the production process will be environmentally friendly at every level.
- Use of sustainable energy sources
Not connected to the central electricity grid, the new facility will be powered by solar panels. The boilers will be fuelled by distillation residues (recycling the waste) as well as a sustainably produced wood material. In fact, 5 hectares of trees have been embedded (within ARM plantations) for the sustainable production of firewood over the past four years.
Agri Resources Madagascar, sustainable production of firewood
- Water management
Pumped at 6m deep with solar energy, everything has been organised to minimise the amount of water taken from the environment. Each still is equipped with a double condenser which saves water and a cooling tower that allows the water from the condensers to be reused in the system reducing the quantity of used water by 40%.
- Waste management
The biowaste from the distillation process will be used as compost. The wastewater will be purified through Phyto-purification process before being safely released.
- Choice of raw materials for the construction
For the construction itself, the team limited the use of timber (main contributor to deforestation) and prioritised the use of bamboo for the distillery and air- sheds.
- Sustainable Agriculture
The distilled plants are cultivated according to Good Agricultural Practices, which are applied in the totality of Agri Resources Madagascar plantations. The company also integrates forest areas including many endemic plants, enhancing local biodiversity, but also allowing immobilization of the carbon present in the atmosphere
Agri Resources Madagascar, Cultivation of Patchouly, Ginger, Tumeric and Cinnamon.
Agri Resources Madagascar Essential Oils
The main distilled products would be patchouli, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, lemongrass, palmarosa, citrus leaves, pepper, all certified as being Organic Ecocert. The selected cultures are also complimentary with vanilla.
The new distillery enables the company to diversify its revenues while producing a high-quality sustainable product that meets the requirements and demands of its clients.
By building a distillery in a remote location the company aims to also create an opportunity for local vanilla farmers the diversify their revenues and stabilise their income.
To achieve this, Agri Resources Madagascar is committed to working with smallholders’ farmers providing training, guidance, and agricultural input for the development and certifications of new cultures suitable for essential oils.
About Agri Resources Group
Agri Resources Madagascar is part of Agri Resources Group (The agricultural division of Monaco Resources Group)- an international business presence in 10 countries. The group’s core business includes the cultivation, sourcing, processing, marketing, and trading of agricultural goods.