Peppermint is a hybrid of the spearmint and water mint plants, originally grown in London in 1750. Today, the fresh and cool smelling leaves are harvested just before the plants flower in the summer months. The leaves are then steam-distilled to release their precious oil.
Our Community Trade peppermint oil comes from a group of 9 family farms in Norfolk called Norfolk Essential Oils (NEO). NEO specialise in growing and steam distilling a range of aromatic herbs that thrive in the UK climate to make high quality essential oils and floral waters.
Buying from the NEO allows 9 small family farms in the UK to continue to trade. Farmers in the group feel that working together has created a strong sense of community, they all remark that NEO has given them a real sense of solidarity in difficult times.
Although small-scale farming has become increasingly difficult over the past 20 years, finding an alternative revenue stream through selling essential oils like the peppermint we buy means 9 family farms in the UK continue to trade.
The herb crops and pesticide free techniques used by NEO provide essential nesting habitat and food for a number of increasingly rare species. Increasingly, the RSBP note that rare birds such as skylarks and yellow wagtails are sighted on NEO farms.
Working with NEO helps ensure the farming for future generations by providing training places for local agricultural college students, educational farm tours for local schools and for international groups from places as far as Japan.
Norfolk Essential Oils (NEO)
Working with NEO helps ensure that 9 family farms in the UK continue to remain in business
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