Haiti’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIH) organized a best practices sharing mission for experts from the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) in Haiti from 10 to 13 March 2015 with the support of The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export). Haiti’s essential oils sector represents the country’s largest export sector, in particular the production of vétiver oil a main component in the production of fragrances and perfumes, exported primarily to Europe and the United States.
Mr. Stephen Weller and Mr. Peter Russell, officials from the IFRA conducted site visits to bitter orange producers in the country’s Northern region near Cape Haitian. This plantation, which is owned and operated by Grand Marnier in France, exports its entire production of bitter orange peel and essential oils to be used in the production of Grand Marnier’s “Cordon Rouge” liquor. They were able to relay valuable information on upcoming changes in EU legislation that will require essential oil producers to identify the oil components to avoid allergic reactions in consumers.
Weller and Russell also visited Haitian vétiver distiller UNIKODE in Port-au-Prince and Les Cayes (Southern region), an enterprise that has obtained organic certification and is a member of the Natural Resources Stewardship Circle (NRSC). NRSC is an organisation that ensures the support of all value chain players and the traceability of their products from raw materials to the final products. In the South, the IFRA officials met with the country’s largest vetiver producer FRAGER and other distillers and growers. Growers expressed their concerns over the lack of financing available to assist them between harvests and the need for guidance in creating cooperatives.
During the workshop in Port-au-Prince, IFRA presented the case of bergamot orange production in Capua, Italy and how the sector was revitalized through the integration of all value chain players – from farmers, transporters and intermediaries to industrial and commercial players. The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) also presented its organization and its main objectives: the assurance of quality raw materials for the perfume industry; safety for its users; communication to key policy makers on the effects of policy changes on industry players;and to defend the interests of the essential oils industry. The workshop brought together key players in both the public and private sectors and consensus was reached to create an association that brings together growers, intermediaries, distillers, and other value chain partners to exchange information and work together towards the common interest of the sector.
Caribbean Export organized this mission within the framework of the Haiti/Dominican Republic Binational Programme, funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).