How do the farmers you select source their lavender plants?
One of them is among the biggest producers of Lavender seedlings and they use only their seedlings. They have been in this industry for years and offer a good selection of starting material, to guarantee pure Lavandula Angustifolia varieties with a good balance between excellent quality and acceptable yields.
What is the process for growing and harvesting the lavender plants used to produce your oil organically?
Famers strictly follow the organic regulation and are audited and tested constantly by our certifier. Choosing organic for a grower is not an easy task as they face challenges such as lower yield and more expensive organic fertilisers. Last year, in 2022, they also had to face a general price increase in fuel, energies (mostly gas and electricity), transports etc. To compensate this price increase and to stay competitive many producers decided to not use any organic pesticides increasing the risk or losing part of their production. Luckily at the same time they increased the surface of lavender field and the final volume of oil was more or less sufficient.
What steps do all the selected farmers and your company take to minimise the environmental impact during the production and distribution of your Lavender Bulgarian Certified Organic Oil?
In general, growing and distilling lavender does not damage the environment. The agricultural activity especially growing in an organic way is even more environmentally friendly. Concerning the distillation – we try to utilise the lavender waste for compost. The use of natural gas instead of diesel is another step taken in one of the distilleries. The others still need some local infrastructure before implementing natural gas.
How is the oil extracted from the lavender plants, and what method is used? What is the approximate yield?
We use a steam distillation process to extract the oil. Freshly harvested lavender flowering tops are loaded in the distillation units and distilled using a steam. A good yield to obtain is 1KG Essential Oil from 60-70KG fresh lavender flowers. This does depend on many factors such as weather, state of the plants and distillery conditions. It can sometimes require more then 90-100KG of flowers to produce 1KG.