Scatters Oils plays a vital role in development in the Essential Oils Industry in South Africa. We work from grassroots levels with our farmers and we work hand-in-hand to develop sustainable commercial supply of high quality essential oils. With years of experience we are able to help new and existing farmers with prospective and existing crops. We partner with Government, Municipalities and community farmers to assist in the production of essential oils.

Scatters oils places vital importance on propagating correct species of crops. Joining market demand and quality expectations Scatters Oils is able to manage the farming projects from germination to fruition.

Here, below indulge yourself with leisure reading of our many exciting African experiences through the years of trials and adversities of developing the essential oil market.

Farmers Stories

The Graham's Story

Such as advisory services and the supply of equipment, the Grahams have weathered a major setback, when a fungal infection (one of the risks of organic farming) wiped out their first Buchu crop. Replacing the Buchu with Tea Tree has brought success, along with a thriving yield of Roses and Rose Geraniums.

The Grahams produce their own certified organic oils, using distilling equipment supplied by Scatters Oils. Their oil is delivered in bulk to Scatters oils, from where it is distributed to the export market.

The oil stills on the Graham farm are wood-fired, relying on a plentiful supply of non-indigenous Black Wattle trees that grow on the farm. Harvesting the Black Wattle trees for firewood fortunately complies with local environment measures to eradicate this water-hungry parasite plant from the natural habitat of the Western Cape.

Five years ago, on 740 ha of beautiful undeveloped land set against mountain slopes with a view out over the plains to the Indian Ocean, Johan and his wife set up a makeshift cabin – where they are living while they build a home of their own –starting from nothing. It was thanks to a guarantee from Scatters Oils that the company would buy, at a fixed price, any organic essential oils that he could produce, that Johan was able to raise funding to buy his farm.

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The Graham's Story Continued

Johan Graham is a typical supplier of organic essential oils to Scatters Oils cc. On a small farm, near the Southern tip of Africa, Johan grows Roses, Rose Geranium and Tea Tree, for the essential oils market.

So far, with the help of only a few permanent assistants and occasionally bringing in a team of seasonal workers, the Grahams have planted a 10 ha of land. With the harvests finally bringing in income, the Grahams will be planting on another 20 ha over the next two years.

The undeveloped Agricultural land in Africa….
Has a vast potential to bring economic benefits to the communities that live there. It is thanks to market demands for essential oils, and the facilitation by Scatters Oils, that an enterprise like the Grahams’ can be established, providing jobs to several workers, who in turn support extended families.

Johan says that farmers in the area have a responsibility to become involved in the social upliftment of the surrounding communities, starting with decent wages and fringe benefits, a responsibility to which the Grahams are fully committed.

The Grahams also have staff retention policies such as paying for the education of their employees’ children. The full credit for the success of this venture has to go to the vision and tenacity of the Grahams, along with technical and market support from Scatters Oils. In an environment where government incentives for new farming initiatives are still undeveloped and restricted to certain target groups, it is the pioneering spirit of small farmers like the Grahams that is contributing to the economic empowerment of Africa.

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Rose Demascena

In the southern part of South Africa we have a small piece of land with Demascena roses growing on it. This carefully selected land has been developed and primed to grow the Demascena Rose Bush. The delicately fragranced rose petals are picked and used to a make a 100% Organic Rose / Jojoba Maceration.
The roses bloom in October every year.

We Take the rose petals and gently submerge them into the Jojoba oil. We gradually heat the oil and let the jojoba oil absorb the fragrance molecules into itself. The sagged petals are removed from the oil once they start to turn brown. After weeks of slow brewing, an amazing, gentle rose odour fuses with the Jojoba to present our Proudest and most exquisite maceration yet! This oil is perfect for perfumery and high end cosmetics.

Rose Damascena / Jojoba Information

  • Family name: Rosacea / Simmondsianceae
  • CAS #: 90106-38-0/90045-98-0
  • EC #: 290-260-3/ 289-964-3
  • Country of Origin: South Africa
  • RI: 1.460 – 1.470
  • RD: 0.845 – 0.875
  • Characteristics: Clear pale yellow liquid with sweet rosy odour. Middle to base Note.
  • Major Chemical Components:
    • Jojoba, Citronellol, Geraniol, Farnesol, Neroli, Linalool

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Cold Cultivation

During April 2014, we took a refreshingly cool trip to the Northern part of South Africa, to visit three of our Farms. We had the Honor of hosting Andrea Butjé, for her trip to South Africa. We travelled north to the rural area of Tzaneen, where our Tea Tree and Lemon Tea Tree is grown. It is harvesting season and both 500kg pots were in operation.

The Trees grow approximately 2m tall over a one year period. And then are mechanically cut using a lawnmower which has had modification done to suit the farm.

The farm is 100% organically certified and expansion plans are well on the way and all is going well. 2 years ago we planted various eucalyptus species on this farm. We took a few moments to check on these and ensure that their progress is positive.

The following day, we took a trip to the local citrus processing facility. April through May is prime citrus season. The trees were heavily laden with fruit.
The fruits are then sorted before they are tunneled into the cold pressing machine.

The fruit is mechanically pressed where the juice and oil phase are squashed out of the ripened fruit and collected together. The oil is separated off the juice phase and is kept separate to the juice, which is used in the confectionary and flavoring industries. The juice is condensed (water removed) and exported. We receive the oil fresh from the press.

We gave Andrea a complete tour from start to finish of citrus oils as well as citrus essences.Firstly the fruits are collected in large bins and taken in large trucks to the processing facility. Once they reach the processing facility they are taken out of the trucks, put into large bins and washed.

Andrea enjoyed this visit as it was very informative and interesting. We spent our last moments at the cold pressing facility which deals with mostly avocado oil as well as Macadamia nut oil. The avocados are stored in cold stores while the macadamia are picked freshly.

They are put through a mechanical press with no heat added and the refined oil comes out perfectly smooth. It is a 'screw' press machine. The oil is then filtered slowly leaving beautiful clear filtered oil.

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Central Africa Safari

The farm is currently dealing in Eucalyptus oil as its main commodity but we have now expanded the nursery to do trials on geranium, lavender, marjoram and palmarosa.

These crops are all in the early development stage and only in the nursery at the moment. Most of the visit is spent looking at the crops and discussing future planning of the crops to meet market demand. Crop yields and crop conditions are checked and discussed. The distillation facility is also checked and any problems discussed.

180 people are employed on this farm and they all play a role in keeping the crops in order. It’s a large team effort and we have big expectations for this project with hope of good oil to arrive in early 2014.

Clive and Ian then set off for a 10 hour journey on rural roads to the next farm. They arrive late at night at their hotel which they describe as an ‘oasis’. They had a warm shower and a good rest.

Early the next morning they arrive at the second farm which does tea tree, lemongrass and rosemary. We have just recently started with eucalyptus seeds for the future. Once again, they spent the day on the farm discussing crop yields, distillation techniques and supporting where they can.

This farm employs 240 staff and has also funded the building of a school in collaboration with the local chief. All the staff are fed and given accommodation on the farm. All these efforts are put into the local community in the surrounding farm area. After a long day in the sun, they made their way back to the airport. To make the journey even more challenging, they could not find any petrol stations for miles and eventually found some young boys selling petrol in coke cans. This saved the day and they arrived at the airport late, only to thankfully find another delayed flight! Back home safely in Johannesburg, we now have oils to analyze and markets to find for the oils which our farmers so faithfully produce for us.

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Cape Farm

Cool Cape Breeze….


We have just returned from another refreshing visit to the Cape. We have over 15 farming plat forms in the Eastern and Western Cape area. This week we visited a new farmer who is expanding into Eucalyptus, Lavandin, Tea tree and Geranium crops. These are grown organically.

Our aim is to ensure the farmers are able to grow successful and sustainable crops for the future. We walk alongside the farmers from grassroots level to help with all types of farming advice.

During this visit we needed to secure the correct Lavindin species for the nursery to ensure that the propagation of the crop is done with the correct plant species. We have chosen the Lavindin Grosso for this particular farm.

Lavindin grosso

We have moved our 200L mobile distillation vessel to this farm for the future distillations. We needed to ensure that the harvesting times are correct to ensure that the plants will be at the optimal growth phase to produce the best quality oil.

We spent time walking through the nursery which has new seedlings growing patiently to be transplanted at the right time.
We need to cover another 20ha of land in the next 12 months so the nursery is full of new little plants which are under the constant care of the farmer. The little plants need to have high moisture, warm air and perfect soil conditions to thrive and to prevent a high mortality rate.

While the plants are growing in the nursery, the land is prepared thoroughly. The farmers are working tirelessly to remove weeds, trees and rocks. This process is very labor intensive and may take weeks to complete.

verbenoneOnce the land is ready and the seedlings are ready, they are transplanted out. This process is done by hand and can take a week. The new plants will need daily water to ensure that they do not dry out or die.

The crops which have been growing for over two years are our precious Eucalyptus trees.
These trees are harvested every 5 months and kept small to increase leaf count with smaller branches.

There are currently 3 species growing here:

  • Eucalyptus Radiata
  • Eucalyptus Smithii
  • Eucalyptus Dives


After years of trials, we have achieved the right species which yields high amounts of oil at the right quality. The new tea tree (Melaleuca) crop is looking lovely!

The trees have been transplanted and we have a 95% success rate. They survived the cold winter and look strong and healthy. The trees will be harvested in 4 months’ time. We hope to expand this field into 5 ha over the next 12months

Farmers in action