The Spring Equinox was a reminder of new beginnings and for us at Benedetta, it is the time to assess our botanical needs for the upcoming year. We source botanicals that make essential oils, fatty oils and many of our extracts, just to name a few ingredients. During the Harvest Season from April through September, my priority is to build continued relations with farmers and producers that respect and honor sustainability through the highest energetic means of cultivation and harvest. These relationships are equally important in business, as I have always seen the Benedetta production as one that takes a community effort. Without those individuals who toil at their craft, we would not exist.
Benedetta feels a sense of camaraderie with our farmers and are very grateful for every year’s harvest. The world of farming has become sacred with many organic farmers switching to biodynamic principles. We are very interested in their process, knowing fully that their success is ours. Without each plant’s vitality we would not be Benedetta.
Take Neroli for instance, an April-May crop which (like all plant materials) is subject to climate conditions for its chemical therapeutic profile, aromatic profile, as well as quantity or yield. Egregious weather patterns can impact a crop and in some instances, completely destroy an entire season or seasons’ growth.
We had one supplier from Madagascar who lost a 20-year, wild-harvested plantation of Geranium due to a bug infestation that introduced bacteria and killed everything. After replanting, it took a couple years before the plants were ready to produce oil and water, which in turn also created a triple increase in price.
This unknown cycle in the procurement of ingredients has forced us into having more than one source, as to not be dependent on one supplier or farm alone. Supply and demand is an issue as the growing need for certified organic materials increases. The latter encourages farms to produce more than they need and maybe cut costs in production by speedy processes, which overall can impact the vitality of the botanical, certified or not.
Benedetta contracts and purchases botanicals from all over the globe, mainly Europe, Africa, Australia, and the United States. When we do use distributors, they are required to have certificates of organic and/or biodynamic status, gas chromatograph testing, and date of harvest and processing.
This is the name of the game in the botanical industry of real (not lab produced) ingredients with a pulse, so to speak. The Farm-Sourced® ethic is one that requires due diligence and care in the procurement, timeliness of transport and even the proper storage upon receipt of goods. Glass storage is a priority for smaller items and stainless steel for the larger tank-sized materials.
Each ingredient tells a story and has value, but it is in the cultivation and process that each raw material is given life. The difference can be understood by comparing two strawberries, both grown organically; one sits in organic sugar with citric acid in an airtight pouch and has a 2-year shelf life, the other is picked directly from your organic garden. Which would you choose? There have been studies done showing that measurable waves of light reflect more vitality and in turn, greater nutrition. Sort of logical isn’t it?
As each cultivating year changes, the true botanical preparation will often change as well by its aroma or even color. A hot year for some plants may produce a stronger scent or create a darker color than that same plant in previous years. What does that mean at a consumer level? A Farm-Sourced® product using all botanicals from our earth’s source, [not chemically produced or altered in the lab], will reflect these natural variations.
No single botanical is as useful or bioavailable to an organism (such as our skin) until they are unified to create a purpose. Once together they provide sustenance and establish their own individual *DNA, which by its own composition can be replicated, with exception to the changeable differences of the botanical constituents with each cultivating year. It’s in this botanical union that make each formula have purpose whether used alone or in conjunction with another preparation to enhance the true health of the skin, holistically.
To sum it up - the ingredients are the life force of each composition, but it is with a keen understanding of the true methodology of what the skin needs to be healthy and balanced that a functional skin care preparation and line is made. We stand firm on our awareness and conviction that plant-derived antioxidants protect the skin and filter atmospheric damage as key elements to our skin’s longevity. As is water integration, another pioneered concept that has proven true as we age; with a focus on hydration before oil and alone at night to replenish the lost hydration/moisture ratio as we sleep.
Each individual is different, we have our own genetic coding and heritage to deal with. Not all of us are a size 2 or have curly or straight hair, but each of us deserves the right to have clear, youthful skin and the best we can be. There is truth in knowing this and finding great solutions to our care, again holistically and sustainably.
I am grateful to have and continue to create authentic products with purpose that deliver continued results without worry to the health of your skin or the planet we live on.
From my heart to yours,
*DNA in Plants. DNA is the hereditary or genetic material present in all cells, that carries information for the structure and function of living things. In the plant kingdom, DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is contained within the membrane-bound cell structures of the nucleus, mitochondria, and chloroplasts.