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An Introductory Overview of the Essential Oil Industry in Australia

An Introductory Overview of the Essential Oil Industry in Australia

This paper aims to provide a broad introductory overview of the Australian essential oil industry and where it stands in the global market place. For most overseas visitors, Australia is best known for its unusual plant and wild life. Its involvement in the production of essential oils is relatively small in comparison to the world’s major essential oil producing nations. However, Australia’s unique range of native flora and diverse climates provide it with an important place within the global essential oil industry. Like most cultures around the world, indigenous aromatic plants have been used for centuries in Australia for their fragrance, flavouring and medicinal qualities. Eucalyptus oil is the most widely recognised essential oil that is associated with Australia but, today, very little of the internationally traded eucalyptus oil originates from this country. There are, however, many other essential oils that are produced commercially in Australia today. Since the resurgence in the popularity of all things natural in the late 1970s, there has been a progressive swing towards incorporating natural materials into a wide range of foods, medicines and lifestyle products. The growth of the natural products industry has led many Australian agricultural enterprises to examine what opportunities exist to diversify into this area. Over the past decade the industry has experienced significant growth and many Australian agribusinesses are now striving to capitalize on the opportunities that exist from the growth of this market segment.

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