I recently learned about an amazing distillery located on the island of Vanuatu (in the Pacific to the northest of Australia) called The Summit Vanuatu. The Summit Vanuatu is a premier producer of sandalwood essential oil and products, and aims to sell health, beauty and body care products inspired by tropical essential oils which grow at The Summit or elsewhere in Vanuatu.
I exchanged emails with Ben Brookman, the general manager of The Summit Vanuatu, and he told me a little bit more about their company.
Tell me a little bit about the mission of The Summit Vanuatu.
We’re committed to producing top quality health and beauty products from ingredients that are available at the Summit and elsewhere in Vanuatu. The quality is always guaranteed because we control the process of how they’re made. We own the plants, sandalwood and other essential oils, and the factory where the products are made.
We distill both essential oils and fine hydrosols, as our distillation technique is hydro-distillation (very gentle), using only rain water. Our plants are grown without pesticides, and we source as much of our product from the plantation and the surrounding islands.
What are your main products?
Sandalwood oil and sandalwood hydrosol are our main products. We look after a sandalwood plantation of 120,000 trees, which is a source of sustainable wood and a great seed resource. We have contracts and joint ventures with Vanuatu farmers in the islands to supply sandalwood and to plant about 50,000 sandalwood trees every year on their own plantations.
In addition to sandalwood, what other essential oils and products can be found at The Summit?
Over the last 17 months, we’ve been hydro-distilling in a much more artisanal manner producing vetiver, Tahitian lime petigrain, Mandarin lime petigrain, ginger and kava. We also have smaller orchards and plantations of grapefruit, tangerines, canarium and tamanu nuts, ylang ylang, turmeric, lemongrass, vanilla and others.
What are some things The Summit Vanuatu has in store for the future?
At the moment, we only produce enough oil for retail sale and for use in our health and body products, but we will be increasing our distillation capacity. I am very keen to do commercial quantities of Tahitian lime petigrain oil, because the oil is outstanding and we have sufficient trees to maintain good production.
How can someone support the Summit Vanuatu?
We also offer tours of the Summit, where you can go on a guided tour of The Summit Gardens, experience The Summit Plantation with sandalwood and other essential oil plants, and watch health and beauty products being made at The Summit Essential Oils Distillery.
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