Rose Projects

Damask Rose - Rosa damascena
Damask Rose – Rosa damascena

Working, as we do, with renewable natural raw materials has many logistical challenges. That’s probably an understatement actually. Long term planning is imperative for us. Many of the medicinal herbs we need are grown by our gardeners in our own biodynamic garden. In addition WALA* (Dr. Hauschka) initiates and supports organic or biodynamic cultivation projects all over the world to ensure premium quality, sufficient quantity and longevity of ingredient supplies.  A prime example of this is Rose Essential Oil partnerships in Bulgaria, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey and our most recently launched Rose Project in the Ethiopian Highlands.

Harvesting roses in Ethiopia; Rosenernte Äthiopien
Rose Project – Ethiopian Highlands


Dr.Hauschka Skin Care is proud to announce their support of the Terra PLC Damask Rose Farm, a new fair trade initiative in Ethiopia. Dr.Hauschka Skin Care manufacturer WALA is helping to create a self-reliant and economically sustainable community by establishing a biodynamic resource for Damask Rose Essential oil, a key ingredient in the Dr. Hauschka range.

Seven years ago, Dr. Hauschka Skin Care provided Ethiopian farmer Fekade Lakew with rose cuttings and introduced him to a consultant to train and advise on biodynamic cultivation methods. In 2012, Lakew distilled his first batch of rose essential oil and initiated the biodynamic certification process. Once certified, his farm will be the sole certified biodynamic source of essential rose oil in Africa.

A key benefit of growing roses near the equator is that the lifespan of the bloom increases substantially, giving farmers twice the time to harvest, and requiring fewer pickers who can often be employed beyond the typical picking season. Ethiopian roses in particular are nearly twice as heavy as blossoms from other countries resulting in a greater yield from fewer plants.

Dr. Hauschka Skin Care has committed to purchasing all of the rose oil produced at Fekade Lakew’s farm for a period of ten years, and 60-70% thereafter. This ensures that the initiative has ample time to establish itself without becoming dependent upon a single customer for all its revenue in the long run.

Damask rose essential oil from Ethiopia will be used in the formulations of nearly all Dr. Hauschka products, including Rose Day Cream, Rose Body Oil, Rose Body Moisturiser, and many of our make-up products. When a Dr. Hauschka customer purchases products featuring this hero ingredient, she/he helps support the growth of this fair trade effort in Ethiopia and Dr. Hauschka’s other rose cultivation projects around the globe.

WALA medicines; WALA Heilmittel GmbH
Rose Project – Iran


The cultivation of roses in ‘Persia’ is an ancient tradition. There are 1500 farmers who work as independent operators for Zahra Rosewater Company, our partner in Iran. Through biodynamic practices over the last few decades the annual production yield is now 900 tonnes of rosewater and 150 kgs of rose essential oil. WALA purchase more than one third of all the rose oil and dried rose blossoms that Zahra produces. Because the government there subsidises chemical fertilisers, initially it was extremely difficult to convince the farmers to refrain from using them. Training was the key to our success in persuading the growers to adopt biodynamic agriculture.

WALA Medicines; WALA Heilmittel GmbH
Rose Project – Bulgaria


Rose oil has been produced for the French perfume industry since the end of the 19th century. These days, however, the perfume industry uses mainly synthetic chemical ‘perfume’ as a cheaper option. WALA instigated long term supply contracts with Bulgarian rose growers and the provision of loans to support our new partners. Organic Certification was gained in 2003.

rose flowers, Ethiopia; Rosenblüten, Äthiopien
Rose Project – Turkey


Turkey Some 320 mountain farmers in the Baskoop Rose Co-operative have adapted their methods of cultivation to supply certified organic roses and in the lower lying
region over 200 farmers are involved. WALA is significantly contributing to securing the livelihoods of the local farming families and to the survival of the traditional and labour intensive rose distilling industry. WALA also bears all costs for agricultural, technical and organic consultations and some of the costs of certification.

Auf dem Rosenfeld
Rose Project – Afghanistan


In order to combat the opium trade in the long term, it’s essential to offer people a viable alternative means of earning a livelihood. Damask roses are now grown by 400 farmers on 60 hectares of land. WALA has been supporting this project with its expertise and know how. The farmers were willing to undergo organic certification to comply with the requirements of natural skin care.

Our Rose Essential Oil is derived from Rosa damascena, named so from Damascus in Syria, also known as the Damask Rose.  This most fragrant of roses produces the highest quality Rose Essential Oil, also known as Rose Otto, or Attar of Roses.

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We use Rosa gallica also known as The Apothecary’s Rose for Rose Wax and Rose Petal Extract.

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Rose Hips from Dog Rose (Rosa Canina)

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*WALA produces Dr. Hauschka skin care and make-up and WALA anthroposophical homeopathic remedies.

Thanks for reading our blog. x

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