Magazine article International Trade Forum

Exporting Better: Perfumes

Magazine article International Trade Forum

Exporting Better: Perfumes

Article excerpt

Frager, Haiti: shortening the perfume chain to become world number one

Frager, a factory dedicated to making vetiver essence, the ingredient of fine perfumes and industrial fragrances, has raised its production in ten years from 20 to 60 tonnes annually, making it the largest producer in the world. With a kilogram of vetiver selling for US$ 69, Frager has a healthy turnover of US$ 4 million.

It also employs 27,000 families as contract cultivators of vetiver.

When Pierre Leger, the present head of the company, took over in 1984, Frager was exporting vetiver essence to North America. He learned that these exports were reexported from the United States to end-users (perfume companies) in Europe. So he decided to cut out the middleman and sell directly to European companies.

After completing studies in agronomy in the Netherlands, Mr. Leger approached one of the most important perfume companies, based in Switzerland. The company gave him a contract, which paid for the replacement of a charcoal-fired boiler, dating from 1880, with an oil-fired boiler and for the installation of other sophisticated technology. A satellite phone was purchased for the express purpose of maintaining close contact with European clients. …

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