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The Rambutan Program

The cosmetics industry is constantly seeking for products with environmental consciousness and social engagements without compromising on performance. Plant based and other natural raw materials are favored by consumers who seek natural and sustainable solutions. 

That's why in 2019, BASF launched three new active ingredients derived from its Rambutan Program, a socially and environmentally responsible supply chain for sustainable bioactives production that was launched in 2014. Working in close cooperation with partners in Vietnam, BASF sources the ingredients, which are extracted from the rambutan tree (Nephelium lappaceum), from the first organically certified rambutan gardens in Vietnam. 

Making sure no part goes to waste

In Asia, rambutan is known for its many powers. The tree’s fruits are rich in iron, vitamin C, fibers and antioxidants. The pulp boosts energy and immunity, prevents diseases, and contributes to eliminate free radicals. Despite rambutan's wide range of benefits, farmers only sell the fruits so far. But BASF found a way to extract the powers of the peel, leaves and seeds for cosmetic products, making sure no part goes to waste. The outcome are our new bioactives Nephydrat™, Nephoria™ and Rambuvital™.


The first certified gardens of their kind in Vietnam

The Rambutan Program involves a network of local farmers and a dedicated Rambutan team. The team maintains the gardens throughout the year, harvests the fruit, and prepares all raw materials for the extraction of the bioactive ingredients.

For its Rambutan Program, BASF selected two rambutan gardens in the Dong Nai province in Southeast Vietnam with around 200 rambutan trees. When cultivated well, the trees can live for up to 100 years, providing the rural communities from the region with a reliable income stream for years to come. To make this possible, BASF encourages and emphasises organic, sustainable farming practices, and implements measures to ensure organic farming compliance. Thanks to the joint efforts of BASF and partners from the region, both gardens received organic certification in 2017, making them the first certified gardens of their kind in Vietnam.

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Positive impact on the rural society

BASF also focuses on building close relationships and network with local farmers and NGOs in Vietnam to ensure social inclusiveness, best agricultural practices and biodiversity habitat preservation. The program focuses on gender equality, safer working conditions, fair incomes, fringe benefits and trainings. By leveraging BASF market access, we can also ensure sustained societal impact in the long run by creating scale at the demand side. In the case of Rambutan specifically, our unique upcycling approach ensures nothing goes to waste by capitalizing on every part of the fruit via a cosmetic application, maximizing the sources of income for local businesses. 



Alexandra Spiegel-Kutschenreuter