At Nala, we carefully vet each and every one of our suppliers for ingredient integrity, ethical sourcing, and fair pay. One company in particular stood out to us as exceeding all of these.
Melora, the company where we source our LEMA oil, is unique in their practices. They focus on maintaining a high-quality oil, preserving the benefits of the raw ingredients, and they do it all while compensating the Indigenous landowners fairly.
LEMA oil has an interesting story attached to it. A special blend of Tea Tree and Mānuka oil, LEMA oil is produced in New Zealand. What makes this oil so unique is that it integrates traditional Māori knowledge of the Manuka plant into its production of Mānuka honey and essential oil.
LEMA oil was developed in-house by the Melora company, which is where we source it from. The company was founded by Phil and Sharan Caskey back in the mid-1990s. They had a vision to have the traditional Māori knowledge of the Mānuka plant recognized “as an important and worthwhile resource for world health (1).”
Mānuka honey had yet to really be discovered by the world and appreciated for its benefits. Once Phil co-created and registered wound care with this honey, alongside the University of Waikato in 2000, the benefits of this natural source became evident (1). And with recognition came a chance to ensure a fair share for everyone involved.
Phil set out to create and assure a fair and open agreement between all parties, including the landowners, beekeepers, and processing company to make sure that all received an open share of the profits from the honey sold. A fair share agreement that’s still in place today (1)!
Mānuka is a precious natural resource, and instilling this fair share was the first time any business had ever properly compensated indigenous landowners (1).
Benefits of this special oil
While this is a more expensive oil to include in products, we believe that its benefits, as well as the support of fair share production, make it all worthwhile.
LEMA oil has broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties, which makes it an amazing natural preservative for skincare products without being harsh on the skin. It also blends the sharp, astringent smell of tea tree with the softer, sweeter manuka scent – especially beneficial for a product you’re applying to your armpits, like our free-from deodorant! You can also find it in our free-from hand sanitizer.
Go forth, friends, and feel proud every time you grab a Nala product.REFERENCES:
- “Our History.” Melora New Zealand, www.melora.co.nz/pages/our-history.