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.
We are excited to announce a new product today – Australian Eucalyptus Oil is back!
This project has been in development for some time at Down Under and even longer for our growers, having spent 25 years propagating millions of Eucalyptus trees called Eucalyptus Kochii so that we can re-establish Australia’s iconic place in the supply of Eucalyptus Oil to the world.
Not only is Eucalyptus Kochii the highest natural Eucalyptol yielding species, Eucalyptus kochii plays the lead role in a great environmental success story. A group of Australian farmers turned to this species to avert a regional ecological disaster. By planting millions of Eucalyptus Kochii trees, these farmers employed a sustainable solution to save their farmland from rising salinity. Inadvertently, they re-established an Australian Eucalyptus Essential Oil industry.
The re-emergence of large-scale Australian Eucalyptus Oil production is a significant development for Down Under and for Australia. While Eucalyptus Oil was Australia’s first export, the market was largely lost to low cost labor markets following WWII. Very little Eucalyptus Oil has been produced in Australia in recent years. With the release of our Eucalyptus Oil (Eucalyptus kochii), that is changing.
Down Under successfully petitioned the Personal Care Products Council earlier this year to establish a new cosmetic ingredient name for our Eucalyptus Kochii Oil – INCI: Eucalyptus Leaf Oil. This new INCI will support broad personal care market uptake of our Eucalyptus Oil. Hear more from our growers of Eucalyptus Kochii Oil, sharing some of the backstory in this newsletter.
Not to be forgotten, we have also been busy at our farm, Buhlambar, harvesting our Lemon Scented Tea Tree, and establishing new plantings of Lavender Tea Tree, Fragonia®, and Lemon Myrtle which will all be harvested in due time by our unique Zero Carbon Distillery.
Thanks for reading.
COVID has accelerated the need to diversify supply chains.
A recent article in Fortune Business Magazine highlights the need to diversify supply chains, as disruption caused by COVID-19 has revealed the soft risks (e.g. reputation) and hard risks (e.g. supply disruption) that a heavy reliance on China have brought to light. Tech companies such as Apple and apparel brands like Nike have been quietly moving their production out of this country for some time.
Arbitrary government controls on trade, together with rising geopolitical assertiveness, has led European governments to urge businesses to minimize risk by reducing supply chain dependence on China. Diversifying a supply chain that may be reliant on one source can pose many challenges and will likely require new company strategies altogether. The Fortune article highlights the risks of international sourcing. Consideration of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) factors such as trade policies, labor policies, and Intellectual Property Laws, to name a few, is essential.
EcoVadis recently published their 2020 Business Sustainability Risk & Performance Report, suggesting that businesses need to look beyond their own performance and operations to risks that may be hidden in their supply chain. Maintaining a sustainable supply base is key, when as much as 90% of a company’s sustainability can be generated in the supply chain.
The EcoVadis report highlights that most companies are ill-equipped to transition to a new normal imposed by COVID-19. Here are some of the report highlights:
COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerabilities of supply chains, showing that organizations are only as strong as their most vulnerable supplier, highlighting the need for companies to go beyond compliance-only risk management to incorporate sustainable supply chain management.
At our farm, Buhlambar, we have been busy planting more Lemon Myrtle, which has great potential as a cosmetic preservative. Once this crop is established, we will be distilling this oil via our new Zero Carbon Distillery. We are also planting more of the much awaited Fragonia® and Lavender Tea Tree to meet customer demand for these unique oils. Fragonia® has been referred to as possessing the ‘Golden Triangle’ of balance in its constituents: monoterpenes, an oxide, and monoterpenols – which occur in near perfect balance. Its pleasant aroma makes it an excellent alternative to Tea Tree Oil. Traditional Chinese Medicine characterizes this oil as being balancing to both overly yin and yang conditions. Lavender Tea Tree’s main constituent is linalool, a good antiseptic, spasmolytic and anticonvulsant. The “rosy” aroma of this oil also lends itself to being a replacement for other more expensive “rose” scented oils.
A group of Western Australian wheat farmers discovered a sustainable solution to saving the ecology of their land and at the same time founded a new Eucalyptus Oil industry in Australia, with the Eucalyptus kochii tree.
We caught up with arborist Dan Wildy to chat about the evolution of E. kochii with WA wheat farmers, and the budding success of this new Eucalyptus Oil industry.
1. How long have you been involved in growing Eucalyptus?
Both Ian Stanley and I have been involved in growing Eucalyptus trees for more than 25 years. Along with his father, Ian has planted several million Eucalyptus trees (Eucalyptus Kochii) on his farm near the town of Kalannie, Western Australia (WA). Ian’s passion is driven by a desire for the development of a deep rooted tree crop which mimics the natural vegetation of the region, is at home in the semi-arid climate, and can provide a commercial return while dealing with the problem of rising water tables, and resultant salinity issues, which occurred due to the initial clearing of the land for farming.
2. Where is your farm/land located?
Western Australia is the largest State in Australia, and one of the most sparsely populated. Kochii Eucalyptus Oil has plantings across the Central and Northern wheatbelt of Western Australia. This is a vast and ancient region of some 20 million acres covering just a small portion of the Yilgarn Craton - which is one of the most ancient geological landscapes still present on the planet today. Our region contains multi-billion-year-old rock formations, vast and delicate salt lake systems, a wide range of remnant and newly-planted eucalyptus trees, and is amongst a group of sites classified as being the most biodiverse places on earth.
3. What are some of the traditional therapeutic applications of Eucalyptus Kochii used by the Australia Aboriginal people?
The leaves of all Eucalypts in the south west of Western Australia, including E kochii, were used crushed as antibacterial poultices for healing wounds. They were also used in steam pits and held, crushed, under the nose to relieve congestion due to colds and flu. The gum was ground and used as ointment for sores. Gum was also used to relieve dysentery. The leaves were also used as bedding and oils used as an anti-fungal.
4. What kind of products include Eucalyptus in their formulations today?
Eucalyptus oil is used in the food and flavoring industry, in cosmetics and fragrances, in the pharmaceutical industry, as a solvent and cleaning agent and in the natural therapies industry. Therefore, it is in eucalyptus flavored sweets, a component in perfumes and fragrances including air fresheners, in mouth wash and toothpaste, in disinfectants and solvents and used a diffuser oil and in combination with other oils in massage and beard oils.
5. What sustainability practices do you have in place on your land?
Kochii Eucalyptus Oil has achieved organic in conversion status on our 1 million tree estate at North Bodallin in the West Australian wheatbelt. In mid-2021 Kochii will attain full Australian Certified Organic status on the property and will continue to manage the estate to meet all of the requirements of the Organic certification so as to produce organic eucalyptus oil from E kochii and E loxophleba ss lissophloia.
This month we caught up with Penny, our Global Marketing Coordinator.
What is your role at Down Under Enterprises? I am the Global Marketing Coordinator at Down Under Enterprises, based in the Sydney office. I curate and create content for our brand to showcase our native botanicals and their unique functions and applications. I also help convey the stories of our essential oil farmers - each one has such an interesting story to tell. Plus, I do many other marketing related things like updating our website.
What did you do before joining the team at Down Under? My background is in health-related marketing. I have mainly worked with health supplement companies and natural skincare brands. I have also worked as a yoga teacher.
What led you to want to work in the natural products industry? I have always been fascinated by the therapeutic potential of natural ingredients and the way they can have naturally occurring multifunctional and synergistic properties.
What do you love most about what you do? What I really love is investigating the therapeutic properties of our essential oils and seeing them used in new and innovative ways by product manufacturers.
What is your favorite way to spend the weekend? Getting out in nature, whether it is spending time at the beach, going for a hike, or just simply relaxing with a cup of coffee and a good book.
We have two dams at our farm, Buhlambar. One dam was designed and built as a tail waste dam to capture any irrigation runoff. The main dam allows us to capture excess rainwater run off during large rain events and store it, preventing any risk of sediment from our farm getting into our local natural water courses. The two dams work together in essentially a ‘closed loop’ irrigation system. Our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was one of the drivers for this project.
Did you know that roughly 80 per cent of marine and coastal pollution originates on land – including agricultural run-off, pesticides, plastics, and untreated sewage? This is a significant point to consider, given that over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods.
By investing in this irrigation system, we are able to consistently meet our customer volume requirements, while looking after the environment at the same time. We are very proud of this achievement.
Antimicrobial efficacy of eucalyptus oil and 1,8-cineole alone and in combination with chlorhexidine digluconate against microorganisms grown in planktonic and biofilm cultures
Chlorhexidine digluconate (CHG) is a widely used disinfectant/antiseptic possessing broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. One limitation of this chemical is that both aqueous and alcoholic preparations of CHG poorly penetrate human skin, allowing for microbes residing in deeper layers of the skin to evade its antiseptic action.
Researchers investigated Eucalyptus Oil (EO) as a potential antiseptic and for potential synergistic action with CGH. They found it to possess antimicrobial activity against S. epidermidis existing in planktonic and biofilm modes of growth. They also discovered EO has synergistic antimicrobial activity when combined with CHG against biofilms of S. epidermidis.
The researchers suggest that CHG may be combined with either crude EO (non-refined, non-normalised) or its major component 1,8-cineole [Eucalyptol] for enhanced, synergistic antimicrobial activity against a wide range of microorganisms in planktonic and biofilm modes of growth. Interestingly, their findings indicate that crude EO has superior antimicrobial efficacy alone, compared with the pure 1,8-cineole.
The authors recommend crude EO in combination with CHG to achieve higher antimicrobial efficacy. The authors determined this combination was preferable to the effect achieved with pure 1,8 cineole [Eucalyptol].
Australian Eucalyptus Oil is back!
Come back to the original – Australian Eucalyptus Oil.
We are really excited to offer Eucalyptus Kochii Oil to our customers - with strong Australian provenance and a superior, naturally occurring 1,8 cineole content. It’s great to be able to bring Australian Eucalyptus Oil in commercial quantities back to the global market.
Australia is the home of Eucalyptus. In fact, Eucalyptus Oil was Australia’s original, first export product. While many Eucalyptus species are now grown in Asia and elsewhere around the world, they all originated in Australia. After WWII, the Eucalyptus market in Australia declined due to production costs and consequently production moved overseas.
In more recent years, global interest in the traceability and sustainability of botanicals has resulted in a return to Australia for the sourcing of natural Eucalyptus Oil. Commercial production of Eucalyptus Oil has now been revived in Australia with ample supply guaranteed by contracted farmers in Western Australia, many of whom started planting Kochii trees in the 1990’s to counter a rising water table and salinity issues in the soil of their wheat farms. These plantings now provide a rich, sustainable, and recurring source of Eucalyptus Oil for export.
WHY YOU SHOULD BE WORKING WITH THIS PRODUCT
BENEFIT 1 – Purity (not normalized or enhanced to achieve a standard)
BENEFIT 2 – Traceability 100% Australian origin
BENEFIT 3 – From the leading Tea Tree Oil provider in North America
BENEFIT 4 – Sustainable farming practices