The wild sunflower originates from North to Central America and was already used for oil production about 2500 before Christ. The native Americans cultivated sunflowers long before the discovery of the new world. Sunflower seeds were brought to Europe by the Spanish explorers in 1552 and spread all over Italy, Germany and France.
Sunflower oil is an important raw material in organic food and cosmetics. However, most organic companies use hybrid-sunflowers that originate almost entirely from two large seed corporations. They are even patented in some cases. Organic farmers have no choice since there are no alternatives available on the seed market.