Green Mandarin: A Story of Innovation

The mandarin tree (Citrus reticulata) is native to southeastern Asia and the Philippines. By 1850, the plant had been established in southern Italy after being introduced there and was thriving in its new environment. As many settlers from Italy began moving to southern Brazil they found that the soil and growing conditions were very favorable for growing several varieties of citrus trees, just like their native Italy. Thousands of European immigrants had found a beautiful place to call home in Southern Brazil. Such is the story for one family that has played a critical role in growing and expanding Green Mandarin production in Brazil.

Keeping Traditions Alive

Enzo, a Sicilian native, moved to Brazil in the 1970s while in his early twenties. One of the key things that Enzo brought to Brazil was a love for and expertise in growing citrus trees and processing them for essential oils. He learned this craft while working with his father and grandfather in the family citrus business in Sicily. Enzo represents the fourth generation to carry on the family traditions and expertise in citrus essential oil production. Even today some of Enzo’s fondest memories harken back to the days when, as a very young boy, he would spend time with his grandfather in the citrus groves and factory.

Enzo is a key pioneer in citrus essential oil production in Brazil. A mandarin tree needs to be thinned heavily while the fruit is still young and unripe. Approximately 60–70 percent of the unripe fruit is removed in this thinning process. Historically, this green, unripe fruit had been left on the ground, later to decompose and become organic matter.

Upcycled Farming

Enzo knew, thanks to his grandfather, that this unripe fruit could be better utilized and could provide added benefit to each farmer. He also knew that he could produce a beautiful essential oil. His influence was critical as he went from one small farmer to another showing them that there was value in the unripe mandarin fruits. By his efforts over many years, most farmers growing mandarin in southern Brazil now work in partnership with Enzo to harvest these unripe green mandarin fruits.

Now, because of Enzo’s efforts, the income that these smallscale farmers derive from Enzo’s purchase of their unripe green mandarin allows the farmers to cover the basic costs of farming for that season. This leaves all of the income derived from their normal fresh fruit sales to be “all profit”—an amazing change from the pre-Green Mandarin days, when a portion of the fresh fruit income had to cover overhead farming costs.


Small Scale, Large Reward

doTERRA is so excited to partner with Enzo and 16,000 small-scale farmers to bring Green Mandarin essential oil to market. It is an inspiring story of innovation, teamwork, and expertise coming together Enzo collects the unripe mandarin fruit and uses the cold press process typically seen in citrus fruits to extract this beautiful essential oil. Enzo’s passion for essential oils does not end with Green Mandarin, however. He also helps with the production of several citrus essential oils, including Wild Orange, Tangerine, and Lime essential oils. He loves essential oils and loves being a part of the do-TERRA family.

Green Mandarin is sure to quickly become one of your favorite oils. Even as a unique citrus oil, it has many of the same benefits of the other citrus oils. However, it has one very distinct difference. Because it is harvested before the fruit has reached full maturity it is not a photosensitive oil. This property makes Green Mandarin a special citrus oil that is great for use indoors and outdoors.

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