Lemon, bergamot and mandarin - sunshine in a bottle some may say. Why go anywhere else to get your hands on the finest citrus fruits?
Sicily. Often referred to as “god’s kitchen,” this Mediterranean island is known for being a melting pot of varied cuisine and the freshest produce. The lemons used in Lush products have been grown by the same family for three generations. Unlike those grown in back gardens and on roadsides, the family have spent years refining the location of their crops to provide the best yield and the best quality produce.
None more so than the time spent perfecting the bergamot crop. The fragrant bergamot fruit is by far the hardest crop to home because it needs an environment no more than two kilometres from the sea so it can take full advantage of the ocean breeze and sunshine.
Starting out three generations ago, the family run suppliers used a traditional sponge method to extract the citrus oils. As time has progressed and demand for the dazzling citrus oils has risen - it takes 300kg of red mandarins to make 1kg of oil - the suppliers have adopted some machines to help them with the process.
But instead of relying on fossil fuels to meet their energy demands, like the fruits they harvest, the Sicilian suppliers look to the sun to provide them with energy.
A staggering 45% of the energy they use to produce the oils is provided by 1000 m2 solar panels on their production site’s roof.
And it doesn’t stop there. The family-run company live and work by a reuse and recycle ethos and implement this across their business. Employing anywhere from 500 to 2,500 people depending on season, managing waste is a significant feat and the suppliers avoid sending anything to landfill where they can - from paper and plastic all the way up to wood and metal drums.
It's a Sicilian story to put a smile on faces even in the gloomiest of conditions.