It’s hard to know where to start when reflecting on 2016, with so many key political and economic factors likely to put it into the history books as a major year of change. The US President-Elect called it a “movement” and perhaps that’s a fair word to use for many 2016 events when the seemingly impossible happened.
Whilst a number of events may have caught your eye during the year, whether it was political populism, weak economic activity and a number of man-made and natural disasters to name a few that made headlines around the world, it was orange oil that perhaps captured our own industry’s headlines!
Global economic growth in 2016 is said to be a disappointing 3.5%, compared with an average of 4.5% over the past 10 years so why is it that we are forecasting a 10% year on year growth for essential oils for the next 6 years? How did we become recession proof or should we be crediting ourselves with a long-term strategy to convert the unconverted to naturals? It’s perhaps more a collection of ‘movements’ like the sharp growth of aromatherapy, or the trend towards ‘less man made’ in our healthier lives that has led to these ambitious estimates rather than any one event because when you strip back the details on each essential oil you rarely find a long-term plan which would support such impressive growth figures. Yes, there are new plantations and sustainability projects here and there which are always good to read about as they give us some welcome security. However, more often than not they come long after they’re needed and are often too little too late. While not wishing to diminish these efforts in the slightest, we are still very vulnerable as an industry to changing climatic conditions, one-off events and globalisation, as in many cases farmers don’t want to be farmers anymore or are happy to work year to year planting what best suits today’s needs and not tomorrow’s. Either way if we are to welcome our 11.67-billion-dollar industry by 2022 (estimated 5.5-billion-dollars today) with open arms we need some longer term strategies in place sooner rather than later, as well as the weather gods to start answering some prayers.
At Ultra we are proud to be contributing to the long-term security of essential oils with our own projects and investments but we can only do so much. This is why we continue to believe in bringing you all the latest market information from many producers and authorities all over the world. So let us break down the details and explain the real issues as we make our future plans and bring you our latest market report containing more than 100 essential oils from 23 different producing countries.