A Global Approach to Innovation

In the late 90s high-quality Mentha Piperita was only cultivated in the US. While production in India was increasing, the quality, price, supply, and traceability of Indian material remained precarious. Similar to any agricultural commodity, US production was susceptible to water shortages, competition from other cash crops, and a declining pool of mint growers. 

Utilizing their agronomic expertise, the Essex team sought to identify additional regions suitable for mint cultivation and found an opportunity in Chile.  Possessing features comparable to US mint growing regions such as; weather, water availability, large land parcels, and mechanized farming techniques, Chile also has a first world mindset of business dealings and a free trade agreement with the US, giving it an edge over India. There was already a precedent of mint cultivation within a similar latitude in Argentina and Chilean farmers were looking to diversify from food crops.

Production in Chile began in 2000 coordinated by an intermediary company and supported by Essex who supplied US root stock, distillation equipment, and coordinated drum supplies and shipping logistics.  In 2004 Essex assumed responsibility for the project, hiring a farm manager to work directly with the growers.  Production increased, reaching 33 metric tons in 2019 and expansion into Spearmint oil – an incredible feat for growers new to a vegetatively propagated crop.  Essex has since worked hand in hand with the growers to align production with demand, ensuring the long term sustainability of the project.   

Chilean peppermint oil is powerfully fresh and mentholic, offering a distinct sensory and analytical profile along with being a valuable source of quality peppermint oil that can be utilized to mitigate US and Indian production and price variabilities. 

Essex was founded on innovation and we seek to continually improve the industry, the land, and the way we work and collaborate.  Talk to us about your mint production problems, we’d love to develop solutions with you.  


28 tons*

 Crop 2017

28 tons*

Crop 2018

33 tons*

Crop 2019

31 tons*

Crop 2020

18 tons*

Crop 2021

14 tons*

Crop 2022

* tons of mint oil produced