PARIS — Swiss fragrance and flavors supplier Firmenich and Guatemalan natural essential oils producer Nelixia said Wednesday they have formed a strategic partnership for natural ingredients in Central America.Naturals, especially those that are sustainable and traceable, are in ever higher demand these days.With an investment from Firmenich — the amount of which was not disclosed — “Nexilia’s high-quality and ethically sourced raw materials portfolio” will be significantly expanded, the companies said in a statement.Nelixia began producing essential oils in 2010, and has become especially known for its cardamom, Peru balsam and styrax essential oils that are carbon-neutral and traceable. They’re used in fragrances, cosmetics, aromatherapy and food.“Nelixia has established itself as a leader in certified essential oils, with a reputation for producing some of the best cardamom in the world,” said Patrick Firmenich, chairman of the board of Firmenich, in the statement. “Building on our long-standing relationship and shared values, we look forward to giving our customers access to Central America’s unique breadth of natural ingredients in the most ethical, sustainable and traceable way.”“Taking our vision to the next level, we’re looking forward to diversifying our raw materials portfolio, while scaling up our positive impact across our farming communities,” said Elisa Aragon, cofounder and chief executive officer of Nelixia.The company, which will continue to be run by its cofounders, supports the sustainable livelihoods of communities in Central America, including Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.“Working hand-in-hand with small-holder farmers and NGOs at source, the group continually invests in projects to develop their communities from education and health to optimizing supply chains,” the companies said.Via Firmenich’s Naturals Together strategic partnerships, Firmenich sources and creates sustainable natural ingredients, representing 170 species supplied by 100 producers, locally sourced in 40 countries and contributing to the sustainable livelihoods of 250,000 families.

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