Frager, a factory dedicated to making vetiver essence, the
ingredient of fine perfumes and industrial fragrances, has raised
its production in ten years from 20 to 60 tonnes annually, making
it the largest producer in the world. With a kilogram of vetiver
selling for US$ 69, Frager has a healthy turnover of US$ 4 million.
It also employs 27,000 families as contract cultivators of
When Pierre Léger, the present head of the company, took over in
1984, Frager was exporting vetiver essence to North America. He
learned that these exports were re-exported from the United States
to end-users (perfume companies) in Europe. So he decided to cut
out the middleman and sell directly to European companies.
After completing studies in agronomy in the Netherlands, Mr.
Léger 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, with an
oil-fired boiler and for the installation of other sophisticated
technology. A satellite phone was purchased for the express purpose
of maintaining close contact with European clients.
The combination of direct distribution, new technology and low
operating costs helped Frager attain an advantage over competitors
in Brazil, China, Indonesia and Reunion (which has now withdrawn
from the market).
Pierre Léger believes strongly in 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 takes part in harvesting and in the celebratory community
get-togethers to sing traditional songs. He is also initiating his
son into the business.
Contact details: Pierre Léger, Frager, 172,
rue du Centre, Port-au-Prince, Haiti HP-6110. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org