Sourcing Stories: Cinnamon Bark


A Small Cinnamon Tree Farm on the Southeast Coast of Madagascar

Many of our Cinnamon Bark farmers have groves of cinnamon trees on their land that have been there for generations. Families care for the groves, helping to keep them healthy and strong for future generations.

Cinnamon trees grow all year long and must grow for three to five years before they can be harvested for the bark. After harvest, the tree sends out a new shoot from the stump. The little shoot grows into a new tree that can be harvested again in another three to five years.

After the tree is cut, the leaves are removed, and the bark is stripped by hand from the trunk and the branches. The bark is where the essential oil comes from.

After the bark has been stripped, it is put on mats to dry in the sun for two to three days. Then, it is bagged in for collection. Some of the bark is sold to be distilled and some is saved to make powder to be sold on the spice market. Any leftover wood is sold as firewood.

A Boat Ride Down the Canals Takes Us to a Distillery

Terrain surrounding the Cinnamon Bark harvesting areas is challenging to navigate and only accessible by foot, motorcycle, or sometimes boat. Some areas are quite steep, others prone to flooding, and there are often multiple rivers to cross.

Once cinnamon bark reaches the distillery, it must first soak for 24 to 48 hours. It’s important for the bark to soak, otherwise the oil yield will be low during the distillation. After soaking, the cinnamon bark is steam distilled, which can take anywhere from eight to ten hours to finish.

 

Supporting Smallholder Farmers

Near the distillery lives a small family. Together, they run a nursery where they cultivate plants like cinnamon trees and clove. Small scale farmers like this family are the ones bringing this oil to the market. We are proud to partner with local families to provide 100% pure and natural products from their source to you.

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