Organic fair trade ethanol
Most ethanol is derived unsustainably from fossil fuel feedstocks in the petrochemical industry. Earthoil has responded to increased global demand for sustainably sourced ingredients with the launch of an organic, fair trade (Fair for Life), sugar cane-derived alternative to petrochemically derived ethanol. The latest addition to Earthoil’s portfolio is produced sustainably from organic sugar cane at a family-owned facility in the San Antonio region of Brazil. Using technology designed to maintain the ecological and social harmony of the surrounding environment, the ethanol is grown, harvested, and processed according to a tightly controlled, holistic system.
How is the ethanol produced?
The sugar cane is harvested and the sugar recovered. The sugar is then fermented into ethanol, triple distilled, and filtered. This family-owned business was a pioneer in the development of sustainable ethanol, taking a holistic view of production, and now is running the world’s largest organic project. Exports raise important foreign exchange for Brazil.
The farmers utilize innovative soil preparation. They use no pesticides and don’t burn the crop prior to harvest, a method traditionally performed to aid processing. Instead, they use biological pest controls, soil rotation, and conservation techniques, which have resulted in higher yields (104 tons of sugar per hectare compared with the local nonorganic average of 84 tons). Eliminating burning has also had a huge beneficial effect on vertebrate biodiversity in the region.
Supporting the rural workers
For every ethanol-containing consumer product sold, there is a real, measurable benefit for workers and farmers in a remote Brazilian region. The ethanol we source is derived sustainably from Brazilian organic sugar cane, giving vital employment to thousands of farmers in the San Antonio region.
The mechanized sugar cane harvest has promoted substantial environmental gains now that the burned areas have been drastically reduced. In contrast to the environmental gain, there is the social challenge to employ the rural work force that is no longer needed for manual harvest. A project, titled “Rural Workers Qualification,” has been developed to help workers take new job positions at the company.
A local weaving project was set up to provide conditions for children and teenagers to build their citizenship, promoting their fundamental rights through social and educational activities and professional programs. "This project is part of my life," says Elisabete Almeida dos Santos, who joined as a 15-year-old student and today is the project's weaving teacher. "In this project I know different people, a new world that makes me believe how important [it] is to study, how important [it} is to know, how important [it] is to learn a little bit of everything.”
Uses and benefits of organic, fair trade ethanol
Ethanol is used as a solvent carrier for a large range of fragrance-based products. Its clean, neutral odor does not interfere with the fragrance profile.
Earthoil’s organic, fair trade ethanol is denatured and exported to Europe where the quality is checked and packed into 800-kg intermediate bulk containers.