The Moroccan cultivated rosemary season is drawing to a close, with calendars available until December. Exporters continue to supply several markets on three continents.
Mehdi Benchekroun, a rosemary grower in the Ouarzazate region, shares, "While wild rosemary is exported all year round, our calendars for cultivated rosemary last from May to December. It should be noted that cultivated Moroccan rosemary is highly prized on the international market, thanks to its high rosemary and carnosic acid consistency, which is of interest to manufacturers of active ingredients for pharmaceutical and food industries uses".
The exporter adds, "Demand comes from the biggest producers of active ingredients, in the USA, Canada, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the UK, China and India. Rosemary is then exported dry, shredded, or sheeted, depending on the industrial process used and the active ingredient in question.
"Part of the demand for cultivated rosemary varieties, of which Morocco has more than 26, is for culinary use or oil extraction. Rosemary is then exported fresh in its green color," continues Benchekroun.
On the rosemary market, Moroccan producers are competing with several origins, adds the grower. "Rosemary can be found in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean basin, as well as in China and North America. However, Moroccan production stands out, especially for industrial uses. For example, while the competition's rosemary contains, on average, between 1.5% and 2.6% carnosic acid, Moroccan rosemary from selected plants and cultivated areas contains up to 6%. It's also important to emphasize that this plant is highly resistant, and its production is not impacted by the climatic complications that affected other crops in Morocco this year."
"The production of aromatic and medicinal plants has taken a giant leap forward in Morocco over the last 10 years, with the restructuring and modernization of the sector, allowing traceability and flawless conditions of production, harvesting, and handling," adds Benchekroun. "In addition to rosemary, we produce other flagship herbs, such as verbena, whose calendars are also still in progress. It is also exported in similar forms, for similar uses, for direct consumption or botanical extraction."
For more information:
DMB & CO