French Province

Provence – the land of lavender blue

A land of sunshine and scents, poised between the influences of the Mediterranean and the Alps, Provence offers a mild climate that is ideal for the cultivation of aromatic and fragrant plants. At a bend in a path, beyond fields of violets, jasmine and roses, you see hills planted with bitter orange trees and wilderness areas covered in late spring broom flowers or winter mimosa flowers. In the distance are vast expanses of lavender and lavendin.

In the Middle Ages, lavender was grown in the gardens of abbeys and was a popular regional remedy that itinerant herbalists from the Lure mountains sold all over Provence for its beneficial, relaxing and antimicrobial qualities.

Production in France's organic cradle

Further north, on the border of the Alps and Provence, the Diois region has an amazing biological diversity. In the seventies, the cultivation of organic Fragrant, Aromatic, Medicinal Plants (PPAM) developed, especially in Ardèche and the Drôme. Currently, 50% of PPAM production is certified as organic.

To obtain high quality plants, organic farmers in the Diois region use elaborate techniques which involve hoeing, earthing-up, subsoiling, biological control of pests (using natural predators), thermal weed control, solarization, etc. Their knowledge of vegetative cycles and relations between plant species ensure that the region’s biodiversity, water quality, soil quality and landscapes are protected.

In this region, we are the exclusive partners of farmers in Sica Bioplantes , France’s leading producer of Organic medicinal and aromatic plants. All their products have been certified as organic by Ecocert.

Through this stable and long-standing partnership, we promote the organic cultivation of spices and medicinal plants. In this way, we ensure that farmers comply with European organic specifications. Producers agree not to use synthetic chemicals or GMO products, to ensure animal well-being, to comply with conversion periods before selling their products under the Organic label (2 years for annual plants and 3 years for vine and orchard plants). In return for this, we agree to buy the farmers’ produce at a fair price, i.e. high enough to maintain local production. We provide them with a set of services, technical advice on farming and production support. Nestling in the valley of Eygluy-Escoulin, our distillery makes essential oils and hydrolats, in partnership with Sica Bioplantes producers. Classified as an Organic distillery because its water supply comes straight from a mountain spring, it has 2 processing lines made entirely from stainless steel (stills, tanks and reactors) to process local and regional natural products.