In February 2014, the commitment to provide essential oils of the highest quality, purity, and potency led doTERRA executives to Haiti. They arrived in Port-au-Prince and then drove five hours to the town of Les Cayes. There they met with production partners, toured the distillery, and met the vetiver growers. They found a lot of potential for success, as well as a lot of work that could be done. Co-Impact Sourcing together with Healing Hands provided the perfect solution—lives were about to change.
The poorest people in Haiti, a country already considered the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, live in the foothills. The soil is so depleted in these areas that no food crops can be grown. Living in an economy with very limited opportunities that is still recovering from natural disasters, many Haitian farmers struggle to eke out a living from half-acre plots of vetiver roots that only provide them a meager income during limited months of the year, if they get paid at all.
The perfume industry introduced vetiver grass to Haiti in the 1930s. Even though the soil in Haiti lacks the nutrients needed to grow food, vetiver thrives in these harsh conditions. Vetiver roots produce an expensive essential oil that is incorporated frequently into fragrances, and is considered to be among the most complex essential oils. It is also quite labor-intensive to produce. Vetiver requires 16–18 months for the roots to mature and then, not only must the plant be dug out of the ground, the dirt must also be beaten out of the roots. While this process is easier during the dry season, an immediate need for cash often leads farmers to harvest the roots before they are fully mature, which typically yields incomplete oil below the quality of doTERRA essential oils.
– See more at: https://doterra.com/US/en/blog/healthy-living-haiti-vetiver-and-co-impact-sourcing#sthash.dSCIzF1N.dpuf