Shopper demand for sustainable, ethical and conscious beauty opens exciting new growth area for Fairtrade

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The Fairtrade Foundation has seen a boom in demand for beauty products in 2021, with exciting new ranges launched by Mumanu and Earth Conscious Deodorant in recent months, as well as the launch of Amazon Aware, Amazon’s first private brand featuring consciously created products, which features body and haircare products. The organisation anticipates it will secure further commercial partnerships over the coming year.

Announced during the Fairtrade Foundation’s annual Fairtrade Fortnight, the growth in Fairtrade’s cosmetics category reflects the wider beauty industry trend for responsibly sourced ingredients in an environmentally conscious world, as new research points to a rise in shopper awareness and demand for sustainable wellness and self-care products increases. According to the latest Globescan data, 58% of people say they are more likely to choose a Fairtrade labelled beauty or wellness product than a standard version.

Fairtrade believes that its Fairtrade Sourced Ingredient (FSI) certification model – which carries a separate label to indicate that one ingredient is Fairtrade certified – has also boosted its beauty category, giving companies greater flexibility to incorporate Fairtrade ingredients such as coconut, cocoa, olive oil and shea into their product ranges.

Currently there are nearly 150 Fairtrade beauty products stocked on the high street and in supermarkets, as well as online. These range from body butter to dental care, incorporating ingredients grown by small-scale farmers in over 50 countries – including Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana – who produce ingredients such as coconut, argan, apricot nut oils and cocoa butter, shea or olive oil for beauty products. When shoppers choose Fairtrade beauty products, producers get a fair price and support to invest in community projects, from clean drinking water to improving their local healthcare.

To meet growing commercial demand for shea and create exciting new business opportunities for shea producers to earn better incomes, Fairtrade is delighted to partner with CAMFED, an organisation which supports girls’ education and women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. The partnership will support approximately 700 more shea butter producers to meet Fairtrade standards and potentially unlock education opportunities for thousands of children over the next 10 years, via support from the Waterloo Foundation. This will be achieved by facilitating the certification of six women-owned producer organizations in Northern Ghana that are supported by CAMFED.

As part of the project, women can take home income through either shea production profits, or through the Fairtrade Premium, calculated at EUR 185 per metric tonne.  The Fairtrade Premium – the additional payment certified cooperatives receive to spend on initiatives of their choice – sits outside of the business profits as it is a communal fund that should be decided democratically.  The women will also benefit from the assurance of the Fairtrade Minimum Price, designed to protect producers from price crashes and ensure businesses can operate sustainably through economic downturns. 

Anna Barker, Head of Responsible Business at the Fairtrade Foundation said, “After the disappointment of COP26, shoppers are increasingly looking to businesses to act on their ethical and social concerns.

“We’re pleased that we can now facilitate this through our FSI certification model and offer Fairtrade ingredients to some of the smaller, more niche commodities, allowing us to support some of these key supply chains within the cosmetics industry. The pandemic combined with the increasing effect of climate change, has put pressure on low-income farmers around the world, and many fear being further marginalised by the economic downturn in months to come, so any support we can give them couldn’t come at a better time.”

Fairtrade predicts that consumers will continue to demand companies focus more on sustainability over the coming year. As the climate crisis continues, they are looking to brands to provide sustainably sourced and manufactured products that have a positive impact on people and planet. For instance, in 2021, 57% of Fairtrade shoppers[i] said they were willing to pay more for a product to ensure farmers and workers were paid a fair price, a significant uplift in willingness from 2019 and 2020 (50-57%) – GlobeScan Radar/HSL study 2020.

Fairtrade’s research shows that there is a clear consumer desire to support brands that are not only taking care of their own teams and suppliers, but also contributing to making the world a better place. 

The news comes as the Fairtrade Foundation launches its annual Fairtrade Fortnight campaign. Taking place between 21 February and 6March. It marks the second year of Fairtrade’s Choose the World You Want climate campaign asking the British public to get behind Fairtrade so that farmers in low-income countries can benefit from fairer prices, trading practices and the resources needed to tackle climate change.

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For further information or interviews, contact
martine.parry@fairtrade.org.uk Tel: 07886 301486


Notes to editors

Fairtrade

Fairtrade is an independent, third-party certification that partners with farmers and workers to negotiate better prices, decent working conditions, and a fairer deal overall.

To find out more about Fairtrade beauty, visit www.fairtrade.org.uk/buying-fairtrade/beauty-products/

CAMFED

About CAMFED (the Campaign for Female Education): Learn, thrive and lead change.

CAMFED is a pan-African movement, revolutionising how girls’ education is delivered. Through a gold-standard system of accountability to the young people and communities it serves, CAMFED has created a model that radically improves girls’ prospects of becoming independent, influential women. Its impact increases exponentially through the Association of young women educated with CAMFED’s support. Together, they multiply the number of girls in school, and accelerate their transition to secure livelihoods and leadership.

Through the CAMFED Association, women are leading action on the big challenges their countries face – from child marriage, and girls’ exclusion from education, to climate change. This unique pan-African network of teachers, nurses, doctors, sustainable agriculture experts and entrepreneurs now numbers 178,000, and is growing every year as more girls complete school and join them.

CAMFED’s collective efforts have already supported more than 4.8 million children to go to school across Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, and millions more students have benefited from an improved educational environment across its partner schools.

CAMFED’s recent global awards include the 2019 UN Climate Action Award, the 2020 Yidan Prize for Education Development, and the 2021 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize.

For more information visit camfed.org or contact comms@camfed.org, or follow @camfed across social media.

Waterloo Foundation

The Waterloo Foundation (TWF) is an independent grant-making Foundation based in Cardiff, Wales who award grants to organisations in both the UK and world-wide.  The Waterloo Foundation are interested in projects that help in the areas of the disparity of opportunities and wealth and the unsustainable use of the world’s natural resources. 


[i] GlobeScan 2021