plants can grow in hot conditions with little rainfall, a decreased
level of irrigation can reduce overall yield.
A common misconception in the flavor and fragrance industry
is that frost is the main cause of the decline in lavender production. In reality, it is the extremes in temperature that are the root
of the most significant problems. From 2003–2008, for example,
the region experienced its hottest and driest weather to date.
If the climatic conditions are too hot, the plants cannot retain
enough moisture to survive over winter. Lavender is particularly
susceptible to changes in weather conditions, and this has led
to a decline in vegetation.
Another reason for the decline in the number of lavender plants is
the Stolbur phytoplasma, which is transmitted by the Hyalesthes
obsoletus insect, and has affected most of the lavender species.
These insects are resistant to the recommended insecticides,
and stronger chemicals are not permitted for use against them.
Lavender farmers are therefore faced with the challenge of keeping them at bay. The farming industry is attempting to control
the situation using indirect anti-pest methods.
Looking to the Future
The damaging effects of the climate and pests have led to farmers having to uproot lavender plots across France in order to
save the remainder of the crop. As a result, lavender plants are
being replanted to offset the loss. However, efforts to replant
the crop have not yet surpassed the rate of decline of the plants,
which reached 15% between 2000 and 2009 in Drôme. This
is due to the high costs of replanting, and the resulting loss in
profitability for farms.
In spite of increasing prices in the lavender market, high consumer demand for lavender products and essential oil means
that manufacturers will continue to seek supply. Although the
French lavender industry is currently faced with several challenges, France does benefit from a strong supply chain, ensuring
that farmers can guarantee supply to local customers. With good
agricultural practices and the right environment for growth, it
is clear why the country is the leading lavender and lavandin
supplier. Lavender is a favorite essential oil among consumers
and, as long as fragrance suppliers continue to support production, the future of the plant is secured, and end user demand
will remain satisfied.
Address correspondence to Giles Bovill, Earthoil, Northern Way, Bury St
Edmunds, Suffolk, IP32 6NL, United Kingdom; firstname.lastname@example.org.
T- 2. The main chemical components of lavandin ‘Grosso’
Chemical Name Levels
Linalyl acetate 25.0– 38.0%
Linalool 24.0– 37.0%
Camphor 6.0– 8.5%
Total ocimene 0. 5–2.5%
Terpinen-4-ol 0. 3–5.0%
Cineole 4.0– 8.0%
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