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Sourcing on the Slopes of Mount Kenya

By: Micha Walter
Posted: December 11, 2008, from the February 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

Earthoil Kenya is overseeing a community grower group of approximately 400 small-scale farmers producing organic essential oils. Here, tea tree is harvested at Mount Kenya.

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To reliably process the amount of product Earthoil receives from its sources, Earthoil commissioned a unique oilseed expeller designed to provide a substantial increase in pressing capacity, and which includes innovations to advance the cold-pressing of sensitive oils. It allows Earthoil Kenya to further improve the economics of oilseed extraction while ensuring that either high-capacity conventional pressing or low temperature organic oil extraction are equally available. The largest of the five presses in Earthoil’s facility can operate 24 hours a day and handle as much as 20 metric ton of raw products to produce eight metric ton of oil daily.

In addition, the project has helped create both a new industry and a new skill base for local people, of which Earthoil Kenya’s operations director Wayne Barratt is very proud “I have a great team of employees here at our Nairobi factory and at Nanauki, and we impart valuable knowledge to them. I am proud of the fact that we are creating local employment and teaching beneficial skills.”