The company, whose main flavors business is Mastertaste, said that it had been so successful as a supplier of organic ingredients over the last few years that it needed to secure more long-term supplies. "From a Kerry perspective, we have grown our organics business over the last seven years to a point were we needed to become closer to the source," Karen Manheimer, vice president of Mastertaste's natural products division, based in Teterboro, NJ, told Foodnavigator-USA.com. "A strategic venture with Dierbergers will allow us to increase our supply base for some key essential oils which are needed for our organic flavors and fragrance program." "In addition, Dierbergers is a very well-known and respected company and we are proud that they have chosen to partner with us." According to Kerry, Brazil holds a unique position in South America in relation to organic essential oils. It has by far the largest and most diverse essential oil production and is the biggest domestic market in the region. Dierbergers has been dedicated to cultivating and distilling essential oils for more than 50 years and today operates on nearly 15,000 acres in three regions of Brazil. Manheimer said that the partnership between Kerry and Dierbergers would significantly expand the US group's portfolio of certified organic ingredients. "We will have a long-term and reliable source of organic raw materials to support our flavor, fragrance, and essential oil business," she said. "From the Dierbergers perspective, they have a guaranteed outlet for the essential oils. This known, future revenue stream will allow them to continue to invest in and expand their business." The first visible signs of the partnership will be seen almost immediately, with the planting of 10,000 new lemon trees, with another 5,000 to be added over the next few weeks. "The main driver [of the partnership] has been our need for a long term strategic supplier of highest quality organic lemon oil," said Manheimer. "However, Dierbergers produces a wide range of organic essential oils which enhances our portfolio." These include mandarin, bitter orange, cypress, citronella and three varieties of eucalyptus: Globulus, Satiageriana and Citriodora. Kerry said that the move was further evidence of its ongoing commitment to the natural and organic market. "The company has firmly established a leadership position in the creation of natural and organic fragrance and flavor development through a worldwide network of dedicated growers and a history of creative and technical expertise." "The dedication by Kerry Group to environmental and social responsibility in the fragrance and flavor market is demonstrated by its recent collaboration with TransFair USA, which has qualified the company as the first fragrance house to use Fair Trade-certified ingredients to create fragrance blends for all product applications." And Manheimer said she had no concerns about the quality or reliability of the Brazilian supplies, even though the country, in the food sector at least, has occasionally been criticised for its poor traceability systems. "Dierbergers is certified by a highly reputable organic certifier, IBD. In addition, Dierbergers has been planting and producing organic certified essential oils for over 20 years," she said. "We are confident about the integrity of their organic essential oils."