Nelixia brings FairWild certified Peru Balsam to the market

October 2019. Last year a new collection project joined the FairWild family with the support of Nelixia, an ingredients provider based in Latin America. The co-operative of 17 collectors in Teotepeque, El Salvador, have been collecting Peru Balsam for over a hundred years. With support from Nelixia, FairWild-certified Peru Balsam has now been successfully brought to the market; the first FairWild certification for El Salvador.

Nelixia produces raw ingredients for fragrances, flavours, essential oils, and spices, with over 11 products on the market. According to Nelixia’s co-founder, Elisa Aragon, the philosophy of sustainability is directly integrated into the procurement strategy for each of its products. In addition to the already certified supplier, other projects include cardamom in Guatemala and styrax in Honduras.

Their involvement with FairWild came about through a request from a client, now also participating in the FairWild certification scheme: International Flavours and Fragrances (IFF) - LMR Naturals. Nelixia enthusiastically embraced the challenge of working with their suppliers to meet the FairWild Standard requirements. Elisa Aragon said “Nelixia welcomes the opportunity to continue certifying with FairWild. If you are interested in buying certified Peru Balsam or any other product, reach out to find out more.”

Nelixia focuses on maintaining traditional harvest techniques for Peru Balsam, involving cuts in the bark of the Myroxylon balsamum var. pereirae tree. Harvesters climb the trees and burn sections of the bark to allow for easier removal, using years of experience to judge the size of the incision to preserve the tree. Rags are left on the incision, and are later boiled to yield crude balsam, which is then purified by Nelixia to create the refined product, ready for use as a fragrance and in food and drink flavourings. Watch a short video of the harvest and processing here.

The Baslameros (the balsam harvesters) rely on the collection of balsam for the majority of their income. Nelixia has provided technical support and financial assistance to the co-operative in meeting the requirements of the FairWild Standard and certification program, including documenting sustainable harvesting methods, the creation of a resource management plan, and a concept for managing the FairWild Premium fund for social projects, which the FairWild buyers pay into. Nelixia has also helped to address potential safety risks through provision of new climbing ropes, and has paid for medical insurance of co-operative members.

Andrea Castillo, from Nelixia’s sustainability division, said “FairWild has been an honour to work with for Nelixia. Every year our Balsam production improves thanks to implementing the FairWild Standard, both in volume and in quality. Through certification, the producers have also grown as a co-operative, improved in their practices, knowledge, forest management, and grown in personal and team development. Nelixia support this co-operative and community to be empowered to grow.”

Currently, Nelixia supplies more than 2 tons of FairWild-certified Peru Balsam resin annually, but have the capacity to greatly scale up FairWild certified production based on market demand.

For more information on Nelixia’s Peru Balsam and to make enquiries about the FairWild certified product, please contact Nelixia via their company profile page.

FairWild Foundation