From February 26 to 28, Arkema's high performance polymers business hosted its major global customers in the castor bean fields of Gujarat, home to more than 80% of global castor crop production. In addition to meeting farmers and their families, they enjoyed a tour of the Ihsedu Organics castor crushing plant and attended the Arkema Eranda castor scholarship awards ceremony.
A program to drive more sustainable castor farming
Customers were given an overview of castor bean farming, which allows Arkema to be a global leader in the manufacture of advanced materials derived from castor seeds including its flagship Rilsan® polyamide 11, Pebax® Rnew® thermoplastic elastomers, and Oleris® bio-specialty oleochemicals.
After exploring the castor oil fields in the middle of harvest, the client delegation was warmly welcomed by the farmers and their families as they toured the small farms. They also visited demonstration plots of the Pragati program where best agricultural practices are taught.
The program ended with a full tour of the Ihsedu Agrochem castor oil milling plant, where the seeds are processed and the castor oil is purified and refined.
The Arkema Eranda scholarship award ceremony
Prizes were awarded to 18 students for achievements in track and field (physical fitness) as well all artistic creativity (painting and model building). Cash awards were presented to the schools.
“We are proud to bring our sustainability story to life by bringing our customers to the source. We truly appreciated their enthusiastic cross fertilization and brainstorming of ideas on a common sustainability theme,” said Erwoan Pezron, president of Arkema’s high performance polymers business. “We are also truly touched by the welcome we received from the farming community, and deeply inspired by the creativity and passion of the students. Our dream is that they will further their education and dedicate their careers to sustainable development. Without education, there is no sustainability.”