April 16, 2018 / 10:43 AM / a year ago

Givaudan turns to Haitian roots for anti-wrinkle ingredient

FILE PHOTO: An employee walks down the stairs at Givaudan's perfumery school in Singapore January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss fragrance and flavors company Givaudan has begun recycling Haitian vetiver roots now used to make oil for fragrances to produce a new cosmetic substance it said can reduce wrinkles and help scents linger longer.

Scientists and sustainability experts at Givaudan came up with a product they call Vetivyne by using water-soluble extract from exhausted vetiver roots, a by-product of the extraction procedure used to produce vetiver oil for fragrances, the company said on Monday.

In 2012 Givaudan established an organic, fair-trade partnership with Haitian vetiver farmers to improve cultivation practices in the poverty-stricken island nation. With its latest initiative, Givaudan hopes to cash in on increasing demand for products that consumers see as helping trim environmental waste. [reut.rs/2IZtBVc]

Vetivyne “contributes to answering the consumers’ need for more inspiring and eco-friendly products”, said Maurizio Volpi, who heads Givaudan’s fragrance division.

Other companies including Firmenich and New York-based International Flavors and Fragrances — along with Givaudan, the world’s leading producer of raw materials for the perfume industry — have also established sustainable vetiver farming programs in southwest Haiti.

Givaudan works with a cooperative of more than 260 vetiver farmers in Haiti, where living conditions in rural areas are among the worst in the world and some families earn $2 per day.

Natural catastrophes including a 2010 earthquake that killed some 200,000 people helped plunge Haiti into prolonged chaos, and some have pinned their hopes on vetiver — known as Haiti’s “super crop” — to help the economy stabilize.

With Givaudan’s new product, the active ingredient “is fully natural, concentrated, odor-free and offers clinically proven skin benefits”, the company said, including skin hydration, suppleness and wrinkle-reduction around the mouth.

The company gave no sales forecasts for the ingredient, which also helps boost the duration that a fragrance lasts when applied to the skin, Givaudan said.

Reporting by Michael Shields and John Miller, editing by Louise Heavens

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