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Viola Organics has been Organic
Certified with BioGro NZ Ltd since 2003. We are very proud of this
achievement and will continue to be organic certified in the future.
What you may not know is that to be Certified Organic requires more than
just ticking some boxes and buying Organic Certified ingredients. It
also requires our suppliers to provide Non-GMO statements for all
ingredients and additives.
In our view this requirement is a ‘no brainer’, it can be a challenge
to find non GMO ingredients but not impossible. Research surrounding
the long-term effects of GMO both in our food chain and body care are not
conclusively reporting that these are safe, therefore we are not
interested in being part of any ‘experiment’ that big corporations rule
over. It simply is a matter of avoiding GMO at all costs and limit the
risks to our health, that of our families and the environmental impact.
Plants and animals need calcium carbonate to form their skeletons and
shells, and even modern mankind could hardly imagine life without
calcium carbonate. Almost every product of our day-to-day life contains
calcium carbonate or comes into contact with it while being produced.
Calcium carbonate is an exceptional compound. The chemical formula CaCO3 stands
for a raw material that exists everywhere in nature, dissolved in
rivers and oceans, melted as “cold” carbonatite-lava and solidified as a
mineral, dripstone or as parent material for whole mountain ranges.
Most of all, it is so rewarding that Rich Mineral Paper does not
require the harvesting of trees to produce the many varied products!
As a result the mills have been able to achieve something that no
pulp based paper mills have been able to achieve. Rich Mineral Stone
Paper mills create no air pollution, no toxic run off and no water
pollution. No acid, base or bleach. No Halogens or phalates.
Due to this unique make up, Rich Mineral Paper (Rockstock) is made
with minimal consequences to the environment. Not only is Rich Mineral
Paper (Rockstock) a “Tree-Free” product, but also does not require water
or use of fossil fuel as part of production. This break through product
does not require bleach, or use strong acid to lighten or break down
the components used to produce the Paper.
Rich Mineral Paper (Rockstock) is neither pulp nor synthetic made
paper. Rich Mineral Paper is a combination largely (80.9%) of mineral
powder (Calcium Carbonate) with a small amount (18%approx) of a
non-toxic, recyclable, compostable, photodegradable resin (PE) to create
an extremely environmentally friendly paper. Boards and other rockstock
Products may have different proportions of Stone powder and resin to
achieve different performance.
It is also water, mist, grease, anti-moth and insect proof*, freezer
grade, and can be heat sealed(certain products apply). Proving to be the
perfect material for Viola Organics Ltd new range of labels.
Due to its absorbency attributes, it has superior handling and printing qualities.
Sometimes confused with synthetic paper, Rockstock is neither
synthetic nor pulp or fibre based and is termed “Rich Mineral Paper”. Rockstock has qualities of both pulp and synthetic
papers, but more importantly it is much more environmentaly friendly
than either of the two. The printing qualities and exclusive feel make Rockstock a paper product not seen the likes of previously.
It is manufactured from ground down waste stone and offcuts used in the building industry. It contains no wood fibre.
Rockstock has a low carbon emission
It uses significantly less energy to produce than wood fibre paper.
It generates no effluent in its manufacture.(airborne or solid)
It requires no water,acid, base or bleach during production.
Any trimmings or waste paper from production is recycled to make new paper.
It can be used in most situations where conventional and synthetic
paper is used and offers exceptional printing, water proofing and tear
resistant qualities. Rockstock claims to be the world’s most
environmentally friendly paper.
Rockstock is the registered trade-name of a
ground-breaking high quality, coated paper with outstanding
environmental values that prints extremely well using standard inks.(No
special inks are required.)
HERE’S WHY WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT ROCKSTOCK
A tree free mineral paper manufactured from milled quarry waste using
no water and minimal energy–Non-toxic and low GHG emissions.
Rockstock is a revolutionary breakthrough in papermaking technology.
Rockstock labels – environmental choice
Rockstock is a revolutionary breakthrough in papermaking
technology. A tree free mineral paper manufactured from milled quarry
waste using no …
Matchitt is clearly a minimalist. When you walk into her office-cum
manufacturing laboratory, you know the bells and whistles are not what
are important here. If anything, it is the exact opposite.
The room is sterile and clean, and tucked away in one corner is a
desktop computer and a simplistic system where orders are taken by
phone, email or online, and added to a bulldog clip pile of the day’s
deliveries to pack.
Nothing here is over the top or added for embellishment. Janine speaks of her business Viola Organics the same way.
Viola Organics is one of New Zealand’s few BioGro Certified organic
skin care ranges. Recently, the company celebrated its first
international franchise agreement, which sees the expansion of the Viola
brand into Canada. But the decision to create a franchise agreement
offshore did not come easy, Janine says.
“When most businesses are working hard to grow their stockists, grow
their ranges, add more to everything they do, I am very careful to
ensure that expansion does not water down the work that we are doing
here. I don’t want to grow rapidly and expand to a huge number of
markets. For me, the franchise was about finding someone as passionate
about the Viola formulations as we are, and not about mass-producing
something of a sub-standard quality,” she says.
And Janine should know – the company was formed in 1986 by her mother
Pamela after a cancer diagnosis resulted in an organic, clean lifestyle
becoming more than just a way of life, but a way to ensure she was
doing everything she could to heal her body.
Thankfully the cancer went away, but the business idea was well and truly formed.
Janine still has the original catalogue her mother would produce each
season for her loyal customers – hand-typed and stapled with a faded
blue cover. At that stage the catalogue included organic herbs and
spices too, as in the late 80s sourcing organic products in Whangarei
and throughout the North Island was a little hard to come by.
“I look at this catalogue that mum has created and the hours it must
have taken her. Each product she created would be made only in small
batches to retain purity and quality. Then she would fill jars with it,
and for a finishing touch, glue a dried viola flower to the top of the
lid. It really was quite sweet,” Janine recalls.
There were no online sales back then, so market [stalls] were the way
to go. Popularity for the organic, natural products rose and soon the
catalogue was being posted around the country for eager new customers.
Fast forward to 2003, and Janine was looking for a new challenge after
selling another small business she had built up to glory and sold at its
“I was looking for a new challenge and mum was looking to retire, so
it became a natural step that I would take over Viola,” she says. “I
didn’t just get given it, though – there were many, many hours of
training from mum. I had to make sure I could perfect the proven product
formulations, and had to learn every step for every formulation before I
was allowed the reins.”
Janine took over as managing director of the company and had a few
ideas of what was needed to happen to bring it into the new age.
Firstly, all records had been kept by hand, with not a computer in
sight. “I had to load every file, every customer name, every database,
and bring the business online. A website was created so we would make it
easier for our customers who want to shop from the Internet, and I
researched becoming Bio-Gro certified.”
BioGro certification process is stringent, with continuous audit
processes part of the ongoing work with the organisation to ensure the
company is worthy of using the title. Expansion has always been part of
Janine’s plan since taking over the reins – however, not in the
traditional format that many people might assume. Firstly, she swears
her products will never be mass produced or sold through big name
stockists, and she doesn’t like the idea of a factory or machines
creating the products Viola has become known for.
“It sounds old-fashioned or antiquated but I will not apologise for
that. Having someone make the formulations to license doesn’t sit well
with me. I can’t check everything before it goes out.
“It is about maintaining my ethical stance, and that comes from how
Viola was created and founded in the first place. It was through a need
for something that was natural, pure, healthy for the inside rather than
just being a large company trying to sell as much as possible.” The new
Canada operation shares the same thoughts.
“While I would not rule out more franchise agreements, it would have to be with the right person, in the right country.”