04 April 2019
Gotu kola or Centella asiatica, is a pantropical plant known for its healing properties. India and Madagascar are the two main suppliers of this medicinal plant. Malagasy varieties have an active ingredient content (asiaticosides) 3 to 7 times higher than those originating in India (Rouillard-Guellec, 1997)*. As a result, since its creation in 2011, LATITUDES 23° has opted to set up a supply chain for Centella in Madagascar with an exclusive local partner.
A field expertise
Two varieties of Centella have been identified in Madagascar. After comparative analysis, LATITUDES 23° chose to collect the most concentrated variety. We have also selected areas in the heart of the highlands of the “big” island whose parameters such as altitude, rainfall and temperature generate a high content of asiaticosides.
A controlled organization of the supply chain
LATITUDES 23° has organized with its Malagasy partner, three networks of harvesting in the East of the “red” island.
Concerned about the quality of the Centella that we propose you, we begin every harvest season with an awareness campaign directed to women who work in the supply chain. With our partner, we insist on implementing good practices to preserve the resource and provide quality plant material.
In high season, the pickers collect the Centella leaves by hand in the morning near the rice fields. Once back in the village, in the early afternoon, they spread the fruit of their harvest in their yard for a first drying under the sun. Then through a meticulous sorting process, they remove any roots, stems and foreign matter that they may be present.
The partially dehydrated vegetable raw material is then transported to one of the four collection centers located in our supply fields. It will undergo a new sorting and drying procedure before being shipped in bulk to our local partner’s warehouse, based in Antananarivo, the Malagasy capital.
At this stage, we collect the quantities necessary to form a 6 MT batch and organize the evacuation to the shipping site based near the port of Tulear.
An operational shipping logistics
When the Centella batch comes in the warehouse of Tulear, our partner proceeds to a last quality control completed with a last stage of drying and sorting if it’s necessary.
The choice of the Tulear site is strategic for LATITUDES 23°. Its location in an arid area (rainfall <300 mm/ year) guarantees the plant’s humidity rate below 12% as they packed in pressed bales and loaded in containers.
We are organizing our last collections of the year in the current month of April, before the arrival of the austral winter which will soon begin in Madagascar.
If you are interested in our product, please feel free to contact us.
*Article « Etude comparative de Centella asiatica d’origine malgache et d’origine indienne » de F. Rouillard-Guellec, published in 1997.