Droughts, Bushfires, Floods, and now Coronavirus. We have certainly seen it all in the last year. We could all do with a little bit of ‘normal’ right now!
On that note, we successfully closed our Bushfire appeal. We were deeply moved by some absolutely wonderful donors - thank you. Our Australian Wildlife Rescue (www.wires.org.au) appeal raised over $5,000. With the Down Under company sponsorship, this raised the total to over $7,000, helping the volunteers of this great organization continue to manage the ongoing care of animals injured in the recent bushfires. Our appeal for one of our Organic Tea Tree Oil growers raised over $22,000. Once again thank you all for your kind words and for your support.
With Coronavirus (still) all over the news, many of you are thinking about functional antimicrobials – and that is where our range of therapeutic Australian essential oils really shine. Read our new BLOG post on this topic and talk with our Sales Team to find something unique and functional for your new formulation. And in case you missed it last month, we explored the science behind Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil’s Antiviral properties. The depth of information, clinical data, and mechanism of action are impressive. Dee-Ann details the current Tea Tree Oil Market Situation and forecasts for the 2020 Tea Tree Oil harvest coming up quickly.
Staying on a Tea Tree Oil focus, in our new Clinical Paper Review section, we detail a publication by a group from the University of Padova (Italy), reporting a LINK BETWEEN ANTIMICROBIAL EFFICACY AND PURITY for Tea Tree Oil (based on conformance to ISO4730). Very interesting results.
Speaking of results, we received our EcoVadis CSR score. We are very proud of our 1st year result and are already mapping out our improvements.
Finally, this month we profile the deeply alluring Australian Buddha Wood Oil. This rich, deep oil with cognac hues is rapidly becoming a perfumist favorite for its Oud-like properties. But don’t forget about its anti-inflammatory potential as well. Think facial masks and even after-sun care.
As always, we thank you for taking the time to read our monthly newsletter. Please be safe and stay healthy during these times.
Market Situation - Tea Tree Oil
The bottom line is that Tea Tree Oil demand has been going CRAZY. Since January we have been deluged by requests for our pure Australian Tea Tree Oil. We have completely closed the order books from the 2019 harvest – our Tea Tree Oil is fully allocated.
ASIA: Although we've been in the Asian market for 8 years, we were totally unprepared for the recent demand - 450% over last year - due to Coronavirus.
The demand surged when Coronavirus hit China. The greatest demand has been seen from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. However, demand is also considerable in Indonesia and Malaysia.
NORTH AMERICA: Although the US market was complacent about coronavirus initially, US manufacturers’ demand has now stripped us bare. All of our customers brought forward existing contracts, as well as securing supplies of additional oil from us.
This dramatic increase contrasted to demand in late 2019 for additional Tea Tree Oil as it had been steady to slightly soft. The Australian Tea Tree industry started having concerns about the state of the market. The dramatically increased global demand for oil in 2017 and 2018 stimulated additional plantings; these were beginning to come online with the 2019 harvest.
We now have little doubt that these additional supplies will find a home.
Coronavirus changed everything
Previously, much of the Asian market was driven by price, however that mindset has now completely changed. With lives at risk, quality, traceability and Australian provenance is critical to their Tea Tree Oil demand. Even once the coronavirus threat dissipates, we expect this mentality to (largely) remain.
Read this month’s Featured Scientific Paper, in which 10 samples of “Tea Tree Oil” were tested by researchers at the University of Padova, but only the 5 samples conforming to the ISO4730 standard were found to possess antimicrobial potency. This study indicates the importance of purity.
2019 Stock Is Gone - 2020 Harvest Coming Soon
As we go to press with this newsletter, our supplies of Tea Tree Oil from the 2019 harvest are fully depleted. But we do have good news. We are preparing for our harvest in late May/early June (weather permitting). Production of a natural resource like Tea Tree Oil is hard to predict, but ATTIA, the Australian Tea Tree Industry Association, is expecting up to 900T for this 2020 harvest. At this volume, we will definitely be up from last year’s drought-affected production of around 650T, an exceptionally low result. Production from the 2018 harvest was approximately 1000T, so we will roughly achieve this result for this year’s total production. By the end of this harvest season, supply will be back to market expectations. Given the significant increase in demand, prices are likely to be slightly higher, although still within the trading band experienced over the past 10 years for Australian Tea Tree Oil.
Please let us know requirements from this year’s Tea Tree Oil harvest ASAP as our order book is already filling fast.
When we were developing Buhlambar four years ago, we made the decision to install an irrigation system across the entire farm. Little did we know that Australia would be hit with the worst drought in a century so soon afterwards. We are now so glad we took that decision.
Despite the recent drought, our Tea Trees at Buhlambar have done really well in the last year.
We were able to irrigate throughout the drought from our three licensed water sources, including our massive central dam which runs across the middle of our property.
When the drought broke in late January, our trees were still growing and healthy, so they had a running start with the rains that ensued.
We are now expecting strong production levels and – weather permitting – we will start our annual Tea Tree harvest in early June. Some of the Tea Tree growers that we support - including Dee-Ann's parents - are starting in May.
Harvest time is always stressful and busy, but also very exciting! After nurturing our trees for the past year, we get to see the results of these labours.
The ATTIA blockchain project continues to develop. We now have a prototype that is being tested. The developers are being very patient with us as we try to ‘break’ it. So far so good. We have released a new BLOCKCHAIN WHITE PAPER detailing this initiative. Visit our TRACEABILITY page and read it today.
We can now reliably – and of course securely – add new participants into the system, credential them with ‘certification’, and trade secure and immutable assets between us.
If you are interested in learning more or want to participate in this prototype trial, please CONTACT US NOW.
Our Australian warehouse is also located at our farm. This facility is run by, Erin, our Warehouse Manager.
Erin’s background as an Australian Army Quartermaster - managing everything from boots to arsenal rounds - gives her excellent qualifications to manage the range of oils and native Australian ingredients we offer.
Erin’s smile is infectious – or maybe it’s because she’s at work, having dropped off her three daughters (all under the age of 5) at school?
She’s not saying.
Prior to working with Down Under, Erin managed the packaging requirements and warehousing for one of the largest meat packing facilities in the country. With this experience in hand, Erin has been instrumental in driving the transformation of our product packaging (read our Packaging BLOG).
Due to increased volumes, Erin will soon be overseeing a 300% expansion of our warehouse facilities. Good luck Erin!
EcoVadis is the world’s most trusted provider of business sustainability (CSR) ratings.
Companies rely upon EcoVadis to independently validate the CSR credentials of their supply chain. This reduces risk in their supply chain and assists innovation in their own sustainability efforts.
We have received our EcoVadis rating and we have scored a Bronze Medal – only one point off a Silver Medal!
That puts us in the top 71% of the 65,000+ companies on the EcoVadis network. Not bad for our first year -- and for a team of our size. But we are certainly not resting on our laurels. Even though we have medalled in our inaugural year with EcoVadis, we have already mapped out our path through to Silver and beyond. We think this is quite achieveable now that we know what is expected.
If an EcoVadis rating is one of your company procurement requirements, talk to us about your Australian essential oils.
Beyond EcoVadis, we are ISO9001, ISO14001, ISO8001, USDA NOP, EcoCert, Halal, and ATTIA certified. We have your quality requirements covered. LEARN MORE about our Certifications.
Adulteration is a fact of life. Unfortunately some 'bad actors' are more focused on making a fast buck regardless of the safety ramifications. This also applies to Tea Tree Oil. Market research confirms that between 20% and 50% of everything sold as "Tea Tree Oil" is adulterated.
While the safety hazards of adulterated Tea Tree Oil are truly concerning, the link with Efficacy was much less clear. Until now...
Researchers at University of Padova (Italy) recently published the article, "In Vitro Antimicrobial Activities of Commercially Available Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) Essential Oils", in the Journal of Current Microbiology, identifying a difference in antimicrobial efficacy based on the conformance to the ISO standard for Tea Tree Oil.
The real takeaway from this clinical paper? If your Tea Tree Oil doesn't conform to the ISO4730 Standard, you may not be getting the efficacy which you - and your customers - expect.
Buddha Wood Oil is created by friends of ours, a husband and wife team. Packed with rare Eremophilanes and Eremophilones, this lustrous and spicy-sweet essential oil offers anti-inflammatory properties ideal for shaving, depilatory, and even post-exercise formulations.
Exotic base note likened to Oud
Natural anti-inflammatory properties
Unique and truly Australian native
Explore what Buddha Wood Oil may offer your product formulations today.