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Meet Reginal Lebrun


Since the 1930s, people in Haiti have planted, grown, and harvested vetiver roots, primarily for the perfume industry. It’s a time and labour-intensive process. After allowing the roots to mature for 16 to 18 months, farmers dig the plant out of the ground and beat any excess dirt out of the roots. They gather 500 bales of vetiver to produce one gallon of Vetiver oil. It takes five farmers roughly two weeks to produce that single gallon. If they don’t receive fair and timely payment, they may not be able to provide for their families. Many farmers—desperate for income—harvest the vetiver roots too early, but the oil quality is poor, and they make less money on their harvest.

Reginal Lebrun is a vetiver farmer in St. Hilaire, on the south-east side of Haiti. He worked hard but because of unfair payment practices, he lived day to day. In addition to low payment, the money did not arrive on time, making it hard for him to pay his growers and properly store his fresh vetiver roots.

Meet Reginal Lebrun
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