Tea tree Melaleuca alternifolia
This shrub with its soft wood and small pointed leaves belongs to the Myrtaceae family. It thrives in hot and humid, swampy or waterside contexts.Native to Australia, it owes its name of tea tree to Captain Cook’s crew who, imitating the aborigines, consumed the leaves as an infusion.Its distilled leaves produce an essential oil rich in γ and α-terpenes and whose main component is terpinene-4-ol (30 to 50%).
The annual global production of tea tree essential oil was estimated at 700 Mt in 2017, produced for 80% in Australia and the rest in South Africa, China, Kenya, Indonesia and Thailand. The main markets are the United States 48% and Europe 22%. The most common uses are cosmetics and toiletries for 50%, with the remainder going to therapeutic applications and industrial uses.
Jean GAZIGNAIRE – MUL Group has set up a partnership with a South African producer/distiller of certified organic tea tree oil. The sustainability of our sector is ensured through regular supply, which guarantees stable prices for all the players in the sector.
In 2022, we are launching a hydrolate of tea tree leaves distilled in France. In 2021, we have also launched the first tea tree cultivation trials locally, in the Grasse region (France), in our Experimental Garden (JEX). These give hope for 100% French and organic production in the years to come.