Symrise receives sustainability verification for hibiscus

As the first company in the industry, Symrise is sourcing hibiscus verified at gold level of SAI Platform’s farm sustainability assessment (FSA). Symrise has committed itself to promoting sustainable agricultural practices in multiple crops and regions, including in its hibiscus supply chain. Its focus lies on working conditions and the sustainable use of water and soil. This brings the company one step closer to achieving its goal of sourcing all strategic biological raw materials sustainably by 2025.

The SAI verification audit took place in Dec 2021. Now, Symrise can offer the first sustainable hibiscus in the industry. This represents a milestone in the promotion of sustainable agricultural practices. The plant grows in arid regions and its cultivation requires extensive manual labour. Both the harvest and the separation of seed from calyx for the plant’s reproduction happen by hand.

Symrise sources its hibiscus from the Egyptian region of Aswan. The company has been working with its local partner El Mahaba for over 25 years. Thanks to this cooperation, Symrise has direct access to the raw material’s source and can make use of established practices. It can also identify opportunities that secure sustainable supply chains. The use of a modern extraction process for the raw material reduces water consumption and simultaneously increases the yield of the rich hibiscus colour.

Programme supports farmers in the region

The programme addresss the needs of next-generation hibiscus farmers by advancing its holistic and collaborative approach. The company is involving more farmers in its program and is networking more closely with its customers, thus increasing the positive effects that the partners can achieve together.

“Our collaboration with El Mahaba and the local farmers supports those directly involved and the entire region. In addition, the sustainable cultivation of hibiscus that we promote conserves resources and thus contributes to climate protection,” said Laurence Briand, sustainable development manager at Symrise.

Verified hibiscus promotes the quality of many products such as cosmetics and beverages

To fulfill the criteria for verification and maintain them continuously, independent third parties audit the farms every three years. They ask the farmers and operating groups to evaluate and grade their social, environmental, economic, and general management practices.

With the sustainable cultivation of hibiscus, Symrise is continuing to pursue its goal of sourcing all of its strategic biological raw materials sustainably by 2025. As part of this goal, the company wants to generate added value along the entire supply chain and expand the portfolio of sustainable raw materials for its customers.