Project

GADOI MEANS EXCELLENCE: natural and organic essential oils and hydrolats, obtained from local, high quality plants, from a complete, controlled and completely traceable production chain.

Gadoi essential oils and aromatic waters are the result of our passion for the mountain territory, its products and its olfactory landscape. While as an association (OfficinaLessinia Association) we explored the different options we had to improve the livelihood in this mountain region, the need to create a real, working, economic driver for this fascinating territory, suffering in recent decades because of the degradation and economic crisis, has meant that in the fall of 2015 we created a company: FX Laboratorio Benessere srl.

Located in Badia Calavena, in the heart of the Lessinia, FX Laboratorio Benessere has transformed the passion of OfficinaLessinia into a commercial reality, under the brand name Gadoi.

Gadoi is a line of organic products, with a short, fully traceable production chain.

The eight actions that reveal who we are:
1. We personally manage the production chain from beginning to end – We buy personally selected varieties or cultivars best suited to our area, only from specialist suppliers in aromatic plants, we give them to our local agricultural partners so that they can grow and harvest the plants to be distilled in our distillery. We sell the finished products (essential oils and aromatic waters) through specialty retailers and / or our online shop.
2. We choose only indigenous or local plants  – We produce essential oils and aromatic waters from plants that have their habitats in the areas of Lessinia, a green paradise of rare beauty, rich in history, culture and herbal traditions. Growing and harvesting these plants in our territory is for us not only a guarantee of product quality (being the highest when plants are grown in their own habitat) but also a form of respect for the natural and human environment.
3. We create networks with regional partners – In order to offer a wider range of products, while at the same time remaining adherent to the ethics of our project, and to offer Gadoi as a blueprint for other Italian regional enterprises, we are creating a network of partners who produces essential oils and aromatic waters following our standards for cultivation, harvesting and distillation; this ensures that we work with persons who share our passion and professionalism for quality production, but also share our respect for the environment and for people.
4. We collect in the mountains – We collect and grow in mountain areas for three reasons:

1. In our mountains pollution is minimal; for decades great part of this land was not cultivated, thus reducing the level of pesticides and fertilizer into the environment.
2. The organoleptic and chemical characteristics of plants grown at medium to high altitude are very special, and although the amount of essential oil obtained is, on average, lower, the quality is not comparable to that of lowland plants.
3. We want to support mountain farming, a precious heritage from the point of view of the local economy and of land management.

5. Technical specifications – our products are certified organic, but to ensure that the entire supply chain, and our partners, always follow clear standards of production and quality, we have also drawn up a technical specifications manual to which everyone who is or will be involved in our project must adhere (local farmers and regional projects alike).
6. We ensure the traceability of the product – If you want to trace your product throughout the supply chain up to the farmer who grew the raw material, just digit its batch number on our website and you’ll be able even to see the face of the farmer.
7. We are transparent  – any occasion is good to come and visit us in the laboratory, to know better our aromatic products. You can visit our plantations, have the experience of harvesting plants and participate in a distillation. This is also a way for us to ensure the traceability of the product, showing you the real path of the materials.
8. For each production batch on the website we publish the gas-chromatographic analysis and reports, plus heavy metals and pesticides results, carried out by independent laboratories. For each batch can you find the analysis by using the “Traccia il tuo lotto” search engine.

That's who we are

Fabrizio Zara - agronomo

The Pharmaceutical Botanist – Fabrizio Zara

The Herbalist cum distiller – Marco Valussi
(Curriculum Vitae Valussi 2016)

The Market Specialist – Martin Hawlik

Production

We only sell what we produce! The fact that sometimes you’ll find there is no more essential oil or hydrolat left is the guarantee that we only sell essential oils and aromatic waters that come from fields that we manage.

To learn more, go and read our pages on aromatic waters and on essential oils

Our raw material: aromatic plants

When we start with a new growing field our agronomist selects specialized genetic material (seeds or seedlings) that is most suited to our soils and climate characteristics, and that is a source of an essential oil that meets our needs. For subsequent installations of the same botanical species we grow our own cuttings in our nursery, managing and thus controlling the complete supply chain.
The plant material is delivered to local farmers, selected both for the characteristics of their land, and for working ability and ethics. The farmers grow the plants with care, following the guidelines of the technical specifications that we drafted. Upon reaching maturity the plants are harvested in their balsamic period  (see table Tempi balsamici) and transported at our laboratory for distillation.

Distillation

After harvesting we manually select only the most suitable parts and the best plants, discarding substandard, dry, diseased or withered material. Except for the few cases in which the plant has to wither or rest for a few hours, we distill immediately after the selection in one of our stills.
When gathering aromatic herbs and conifers in the wild, we follow specific guidelines on wild collection in order not to impoverish the collection area. Picking by hand we carefully choose the most luxuriant and young plants. The tree trunks of the conifers are cleaned by hand in our production site in order to distill only foliar twigs of small dimensions, reducing as much as possible the wood, because it contains an essential oil qualitatively different from that contained in the needles; all for the benefit of product quality.
Our laboratory is equipped with four stills of various sizes and types, made of stainless steel or copper, in order to distill each aromatic material in the most appropriate way. All stills have been optimized and customized by us; we can distill in water, in water and steam (direct steam) and in indirect steam, so as to produce essential oils and aromatic waters respecting our quality parameters, but also to be able to meet our clients special requirements. During the distillation we record various values ​​such as temperature of the condensate, steam flow, pressure and moisture, keeping them as stable as possible from batch to batch in order to obtain a homogeneous product.

The laboratory is certified Food Grade. For further information on the distillation process see the article here qui

Packaging

Right after distillation, essential oils and aromatic waters are filtered to eliminate small plant particles or impurities, the essential oils are then dried to eliminate any residual traces of water to avoid fast oxidation, and are packed in bottles made of dark-purple glass, produced and certified in Europe by the company Miron Violettglass, so as to minimize the exposure of the essential oils to UV radiations, and therefore reduce the risk of oxidation. The high thickness of the glass bottles and their superior quality allows us to not use an additional packaging (cardboard box - tube aluminum etc.), thus avoiding unnecessary waste.

Italian partners

To export our experience as a blueprint for action, and to widen the range of essential oils that we can offer, we are building a network of Italian specialized partners that cultivate and distill their native aromatic plants, just as we do in Lessinia. This because the first rule for growing high quality plants is that you cultivate them in the conditions in which they naturally grow. Our partners are given a technical specifications manual for cultivation and distillation developed by our experts in which you they find all the necessary information for the various processes, so that they can maintain high and uniform quality standards.

Our partners must follow the technical specifications, otherwise they will be excluded  from the project, and the control of production is carried out periodically by our team.

After distilling, the partners send their raw distilled materials to the laboratory in Badia Calavena where we prepare the samples for analyses and we proceed with bottling, packaging and marketing.

By using the “Traccia il tuo lotto" you can reach back both to to our local farmers and to our regional partners.

Partner
Mediflora (Sardegna)

Farmers
Az. agr. Maso Covel (Lessinia – Trentino)
Az. agr. La Ferraretta Bianca (Lessinia – Veneto)
Az. agr. Il Ronchetto (Emilia Romagna)
Az. agr. Pernigo (Lessinia - Veneto)
Az. agr. Le Poscole al Canton (Lessinia - Veneto)
Az. agr. Merzi Enrico (Lessinia - Veneto)
Az. agr. Piccoli Egidio (Lessinia - Veneto)

Special essential oils – ethical projects

The essential oils and aromatic waters we produce are mainly of Italian origin. Since we wanted to offer a range of essential oils wider than that which is naturally available from our areas in Italy, but at the same time we didn’t want to abandon the ethical line of our project, we decided to partner with organizations abroad that had a similar approach to ours. A paramount preoccupation we had was that these organizations paid attention to the sustainable side of agriculture (or wild collection), both from the environmental point of view and from the ethical on, and that at the same time were able to distill following the best methods and the most adequate apparel.

That is why our collaborative project is long term: we have chosen to work with production companies in developing countries, through the transfer of skills and technology, and subsequent creation of trade links, so that, when possible, the production process remains local, where plants are cultivated or harvested. This project comprises a first phase of the study carried out on aromatic materials (in our laboratory when possible, or directly in situ) in cooperation with the suppliers, in order to optimize the distillation process. In a second phase we compile a technical specification manual that will serve to implement an optimal production chain. The transfer of knowledge enables manufacturers to add value to the products of their land and make a profit.

We currently have identified two areas in which to operate, one in Nepal, a country in which Marco Valussi has been operating for many years as a consultant and researcher in the field of medicinal plants and essential oils, and one in Somaliland, the country from where some of the best resins of myrrh and incense originate, but whose market is at risk because of destructive harvesting.

Therefore in the near future we will also be able to present a range of local products from organic production chain in Nepal (such as Lemongrass, Wintergreen, Timur, Siltimur and Tejapat) and Myrrh and Frankincense from Somaliland.

This post is also available in: Italian