Origin: a Latin derivative
meaning "Gift of the Earth."
Albania has a long history of producing essential oil crops due to its ideal climate and fertile soils. dōTERRA began working closely with our partner in Albania starting in 2016 to develop a Co-Impact Sourcing model operation for producing premium quality Helichrysum, Laurel Leaf, Lavender, Juniper Berry, and other oils and ingredients. Essential oil crops, particularly Helichrysum, grow beautifully in Albania's long, dry summers, Mediterranean climate, and rich soil. Their production, with a higher profit margin than traditional crops, contributes to creating and sustaining jobs in rural areas and providing higher household incomes for small farmers.
To pursue what’s pure, dōTERRA’s partner proudly implements our Sourcing Guiding Principles, including the fair treatment of, and investment in, farmers and their surrounding communities. As part of that commitment, payments are provided to farmers within 48 hours of selling their raw material. Farmers are also offered long-term contracts, meaning that they have a guaranteed buyer for more than one season. With these long-term contracts, farmers can invest in their fields and plan for the future.
The doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation has supported several projects in the communities of essential oil farmers in Albania. Projects are selected based on the needs and requests of sourcing communities, or communities in which farmers and their families live. Leaders in sourcing communities identify the projects, which are then reviewed, approved, and funded by doTERRA Healing Hands.
Some project highlights from Albania include:
Helichrysum, a small perennial plant with golden yellow, ball-shaped blossoms, is harvested in the early to mid-summer when the flowers are mature. The plants are steam distilled for about two hours on the same day they are harvested.
Juniper Berries grow on shrub-like evergreen conifers that are native to the Northern Hemisphere and thrive in the Balkan area of Europe. The essential oil is extracted through steam distillation of the dark blueberries which are often hand-harvested.
doTERRA's partner, working closely with doTERRA’s Esseterre Bulgaria team, planted and began farming Lavender in Albania in 2018. The sunny, dry climate and rocky soil of Albania is similar to Bulgaria, and lavender thrives in both locations. Lavender, with its distinct purple flowers, is harvested once the summer sun has dried out the flowers – this is when they produce a higher volume and quality of oil. The steam distillation takes place on the same day as harvest and lasts about two hours.
Laurel Leaf harvested for dōTERRA’s essential oil comes primarily from farms in Southern Albania. These farms reduce the potential for over-harvesting the native wild-growing Laurel trees. The trees thrive on sloping, well-drained soils and are maintained at about 10 feet (3 meters) tall to facilitate easier harvesting. Once the trees have reached 3 to 4 years of maturity, the bushy dark green leaves and small branches are both mechanically and hand-harvested for essential oil production. The process of loading the stills, distilling, and then unloading the stills, lasts about two hours.
World Bank 2021, https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/albania/overview UNICEF, Albania Annual Report 2018