AGRI-SUPPLY CO S.A., a company specialized in agricultural products and supplies, is the largest producer and exporter of Vetiver oil in the world. Its Vetiver oil factory, known as FRAGER, is located in Les Cayes, the heart of the principal vetiver producing region, in Southwestern Haiti, which extends from Port-Salut to Aquin.
Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) is a tall grass native to India, that grows in Haiti and select regions of the world. The essential oil derived from its extensive network of roots is a key-ingredient of fine perfumes and industrial fragrances. Haiti is the world's leading producer of vetiver oil.
Frager is a factory dedicated to making vetiver essential oil. It was founded in 1958 by Franck Leger. A few years after completing studies in agronomy in the Netherlands, his son Pierre Léger, the present head of the company, took over in 1984. At that time, Frager was exporting vetiver essence to North America.
When he learned that these exports were re-exported from the United States to end-users (perfume companies) in Europe, he decided to cut out the middleman and sell directly to European companies. So he approached one of the most important perfume companies, based in Switzerland. The company gave him a contract, which paid for the replacement of a charcoal-fired boiler, dating from 1880, for an oil-fired boiler and for the installation of other sophisticated technology. A satellite phone was purchased for the solely purpose of maintaining close contact with European clients.
Nowadays, the combination of direct distribution, new technology and low operating costs due to economy of scale helped Frager attain an advantage over competitors in Brazil, China, Indonesia and Reunion (most of these countries has now withdrawn from the market). In fact, with 38 stills and 5 boilers, it has raised its production capacity in ten years from 20 to 60 tons annually, making it the largest producer in the world. Frager produces more than 60% of the Haitian production. It also employs 27,000 families as contract cultivators of vetiver.
Pierre Léger gives great importance to direct contacts with his local community, too, to maintain the success of his business. Employees are given a chance to participate in the running of the enterprise. Mr. Léger likes to take part in harvesting and in the community get-togethers by singing traditional songs. He places a great emphasis on education by supporting the youth through scholarships and educational projects.
Pierre Léger also believes strongly in delegation and succession planning. That is why he introduced his 2 children from an early age to the world of vetiver and European perfumery. Consequently in 2002, he brought into the business his son, Franck Leger, who now runs the factory, in close collaboration with his father. His studies in Management, along with his dynamism and his sense of business give him great leadership. With him, Frager enjoys a new impulsion.
At Frager, we strongly believe in sustainability. As a result, we are certified Organic and Fair Trade by ECOCERT.