Down Under Enterprises grows, produces, exports, and markets traceable
and sustainable native Australian essential oils and botanicals grown on our farm, Buhlambar, and from small growers across Australia producing unique essential oils and botanicals from plants native to Australia.
If there is one thing the world has learned from the current Coronavirus pandemic, it is the importance and awareness of proper cleaning – our hands, our body, our homes, and our broader environment. A close second is scrutinizing the products we use to clean. Can these products be trusted to keep us safe?
Down Under’s naturally effective essential oils offer a range of options for your personal and home cleaning formulations.
Subscribe to our Blogs to be amongst the first to hear about new efficacy studies and other clinical reports and information on our essential oils.
Speaking of Australian essential oils, we now well into the annual Australian Tea Tree harvest. The first two shipments of our fresh 2020 Tea Tree Oil are already in shipping containers on their way to our US warehouse and North American customers! The end of the growing season also means harvesting of other Australian oil crops.
Not to be outdone, our Manuka partners in New Zealand have now been released from their 4-week extreme COVID lockdown and have started harvesting again. We have a lot more fresh Manuka Oil heading to our warehouses too! And speaking of functional evidence, check out our new Manuka Clinical and Scientific Reference Listing – you’ll be amazed by the shear number of published papers on Manuka.
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Consumers are holding their cleaning products to a higher standard and scrutinizing ingredients for new levels of efficacy, coupled with proven sustainability and traceability practices.
If the current Coronavirus pandemic has taught the world one thing, it is the importance of proper cleaning – hands, homes, external environment – everything. Consumers are forming trusted relationships with these products – and brands – used to keep them clean and, hopefully, safe.
Another general learning is the difference between ‘cleaning’ and ‘disinfecting’. What order to follow? Which products are suitable for each step? Consumers have learned about ‘dwell time’ and the distinctions in cleaning ‘porous’ and ‘non porous’ surfaces. Consumers have just had a crash-course in the mechanics of cleaning. Manufacturers and retailers will be dealing with a more educated consumer base, one that will study product claims and labels judiciously.
Tie this in with the global trend towards “natural household cleaners” and, going forward, the savvy manufacturers will be looking for those natural ingredients and formulations which are able to pass stringent testing and efficacy standards. We believe consumers will continue their push into more natural – and effective – products for their home cleaning activities. This belief is supported by a dramatic increase we are experiencing in requests from our customers for detailed product efficacy information on our essential oils. This shift is coming at the expense of traditionally synthetic-based home cleaning products.
If your team is working on new natural cleaning product formulae and requires support for potential ingredients, talk with us. For example, we can offer a detailed White Paper on Homecare and Petcare Applications which you can download here.
As Down Under continues to grow we have been able to increase our warehouse capacity at our Buhlambar Farm to three times the size! We can now hold more product on site to transfer to our warehouse in North America. This means we can fulfill more frequent orders to our customers in North America, so they can have access to the latest harvest from down under more often! Our Asian and European customers now have access to more stock readily available for shipments directly from Australia.
NZ Mānuka growers are revitalizing traditional (Māori) farming and healing practices.
We spoke with Vicki Murray, one of the five trustees to the land and a mokopuna tuarua (descendant) of Ngamihi Materangatira Waaka-Paora.
1. How long have you been involved in growing Mānuka on your land?
The trees were planted around June last year, we look forward to September or October when it is anticipated the first harvest will occur.
2. In what ways are you collaborating to grow Mānuka and what has the positive impact been for you and your Iwi?
We knew other growers would need to have a model to follow, they would feel more secure in investing in a product if it was seen to be working by someone else, someone they knew and could talk to. We decided to focus at the local level first, to increase the amount of canopied tree volume by bringing the smaller land trusts into growing before approaching the iwi. The impact is that trusts are collaborating more, even if it's having discussions around various opportunities to develop their lands. We are really still at the foundational stages where folk are quietly optimistic but still waiting cautiously to see what happens to us.
3. What does the land mean to you, are you able to explain a little on the heritage of the land?
Because of the land wars and confiscations, we only have small parcels of land remaining, the responsibility trustees have to the many beneficiaries of the land is huge. Our options have been limited due to the lack of finances and the restrictions open to us to develop the land under multiple title ownership, so we are grateful to be able to have finally found an investment which meets our needs. Several improvements have occurred as a result of us entering into a partnership with NZ Mānuka Group, the first is the rental received for the lease of the land used has increased. The second and equally important to us is the mānuka trees are natives and as such would have been a resource in our (Māori) traditional practices. The revitalisation of such practices as modes of healing are central to our cultural, social and health strategies.
4. Can you explain the land trust and what the land was used for prior to working with NZ Mānuka?
A comprehensive study on the historical use of the block is yet to be taken but we know our ancestors planted various food crops in the lands around the marae. The land is succeeded to by descendants of the original owners. The trustees of this particular parcel of land are the fourth generation descendants from our great grandmother. Most recently over the last twenty years or so, the previous trustees of the block leased the land to a local maize grower. The only return to the trust was a lease for the use of the land.
5. What are some of the traditional therapeutic applications of Mānuka that you are aware of?
Once again, we have lost much of our traditional knowledge in this area. We do know our ancestors applied all types of rongoa (medicinal remedies) harvested from trees and plants such as poultices and salves, as herbs and flavouring in drinks and cooking. Now that we have a mānuka plantation we look forward to researching and resuming those ancient practices again. Our great grandmother, was a healer during the influenza epidemic in the 1900's, it is her attitude to providing care to the people in her community that has inspired us (well, me in particular) to agree to the planting of manuka for oil on our land.
6. What sustainability practices have you put in place on your land?
We are still at the planning stages regarding sustainability hampered by the lack of finances but our primary focus is on sourcing access to water and planting companion trees and shrubs surrounding the mānuka trees to protect and improve their growth and production of oil
Down Under Enterprises is the exclusive representative of New Zealand Mānuka in North America. From our Australian and US (Ohio-based) warehouses, we supply 100% pure and natural Mānuka Oil from Mānuka plantations based on Māori lands where all the local communities receive training, work and financial return for their contribution.
Meet Damien our Sales Director for APAC with a strong background in the Fine Fragrance Industry.
Our Sales Director for APAC (Asia-Pacific), Damien Madier, shares a bit about his background and what drew him to working in the natural products industry.
What did you do before joining the team at Down Under? I was the Export Sales Manager with an established company in the Fine Fragrance Industry. While based in Grasse, France, I had responsibility for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region. My work took me to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Iran, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Moldova, Morocco, Senegal, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Nigeria and more – I travelled to most of these countries twice a year.
What led you to want to work in the natural products industry? My environmental interests and the sustainability of essential oils, their genuine therapeutic properties, and the evolving customer awareness of the real value of natural products. There has been a trend in the F&F industry to move (back) to naturals, and I see great prospects for natural products.
What do you love most about what you do? Working with products in which I believe, development and accomplishment of projects with customers and bringing a positive change to the world.
What’s your favorite way to spend the weekend? Spending time with family and friends, travelling and discovering. I like events and sports – particularly Thai Boxing and K-1!
Roos on the farm!
We were delighted to receive some surprise visitors at our Buhlambar [BUH-lum-bar] Farm in recent days! Some local kangaroos have started spending time on the farm. This is quite unique and a very welcome development.
Many rigorous agricultural practices disrupt the dynamic equilibrium of a natural ecosystem. The land which is our farm is now experiencing more peaceful days as the growing of Tea Tree is a much less intensive agricultural process than previous cropping and grazing activities of prior owners. Sustainability is at the heart of our farming operations and allowing the land to return to native plantings has been a priority. The Koala corridor we are developing has also been beneficial for native species. Our furry friends dropping in on the farm is another positive indication that we have been successful in returning the land to a more natural and native ecosystem.
Tea Tree for Fungal Decontamination of Indoor Environments
The quality of indoor air can have a significant impact on the health of inhabitants. Sick building syndrome which is often attributed to mold, can trigger allergy and respiratory symptoms.
Rogawanswamy et al. (2015) evaluated commercial antifungal products using air samples and sealed agar plates. They tested the efficacy of two industrial disinfectants (Cavicide and Virkon), ethanol, vinegar, and Tea Tree Oil against two common fungi. Tea Tree Oil demonstrated the greatest inhibitory effect on the growth of tested fungi, applied in either a liquid or vapor form.
The researchers concluded that Tea Tree Oil was the most effective antifungal agent tested – equivalent to Phenol, the positive control -- and may have industrial applications for the remediation of fungal contamination in residential and occupational buildings.
To learn about this research on Tea Tree Oil, click here.
Mānuka Oil and Tea Tree Oil – the perfect combination according to science
Researchers from the University of Hamburg, Germany, determined the bactericidal potential of Tea Tree Oil is significantly boosted against four different bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Moraxella catarrhalis) when combined with the efficacy of Mānuka Oil’s beta-triketones.
Mānuka Oil proved to be more effective at killing gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus.
Tea Tree Oil was strongest against gram-negative bacteria, fungi, yeasts, and other evil villains.
The combination of the two oils provides broad spectrum anti-viral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties at low concentrations. To receive an email with detailed information about this “Dynamic Duo”, .
Read our blogs on Mānuka: