We’ve sourced Community Fair Trade shea butter from Tungteiya Women’s Association in northern Ghana since 1994. 640 women from 11 villages handcraft shea butter using an 18-stage process of traditional techniques, passed from mother to daughter for generations.
Receiving a fair price is providing an independent income for the women, and also helping to empower them through increased confidence and respect in their community. We also pay a premium price to help fund community projects that positively impact the lives of 49,000 people across 11 villages in the wider community. Long-term investment has enabled the community to build 7 schools that educate approximately 1,200 students every year, and provide access to safe water and healthcare facilities.
Our Community Fair Trade handcrafted paper and gift packaging is sustainably sourced from Get Paper Industry in Kathmandu, Nepal. We’re really proud to have worked with GPI since 1989. These pro artisans use waste and recycled materials (like cotton off-cuts and banana tree stems) to create the paper.
GPI employ more women than men and pay them a fair, equal wage, making sure they receive equal benefits. They’ve also pioneered social projects to benefit the whole community around Bansbari. They helped send children from the poorest families to school, and raised education levels for girls through their ‘Send Your Daughters to School’ campaign and scholarships.
In recent years, GPI have pioneered initiatives to raise awareness of human trafficking through facilitating girls’ groups in local villages. They’re now also using their voice on a wider scale, by organising nationwide school essay competitions on the topic of human trafficking.
An estimated 3 billion people around the world live in countries without formal waste management - that’s almost half the planet’s population. This has led to an estimated 1.5 million ‘waste pickers’ - unsung heroes who work tirelessly to clean up their city’s streets in this informal sector. Waste pickers are mostly made up of ‘dalits’ (formally known as ‘untouchables’), the lowest social group in India’s caste system. This means that they are vulnerable to discrimination, exploitation and poor working conditions.
In 2019, we launched our Community Fair Trade partnership with Plastics for Change to buy recycled plastic from waste pickers in India, to use in our plastic packaging. Our trade provides a fair price for plastic in a notoriously exploitative industry, giving vital stability to marginalised waste pickers. The initiative won Ethical Corporation’s 2019 ‘Plastics Innovation Award’ and has been recognised in the industry for its unique approach to addressing both the environmental and human side of the plastic crisis.
OUR CORE PRINCIPLES
This will be established through consultation with producers, and will be reviewed periodically. Each supply chain is unique. We follow an external fair price benchmark, or if this does not exist, we develop a fair cost model specific to that supply chain.
Where appropriate, we will support community projects through price premiums or in some instances, direct investment.
Producer groups will receive favourable terms of trade. For example, early payment if needed.
We aim to provide support or training if needed. This could be direct support from The Body Shop staff or through external stakeholders such as local NGOs.
We provide forecasts to enable Producer Groups to make informed decisions about production levels and business planning.
The development and maintenance of supply chains in marginalised communities is a complex, long term activity. From time to time, we experience unavoidable supply chain issues with our Community Fair Trade suppliers that lead to raw material shortages. This means that in order to fulfil customer demand for certain products, we sometimes have to blend our Community Fair Trade ingredients with those from other sources to account for shortages. As our Community Fair Trade partners and relationships are very important to us, we always aim to protect the on-going demand for the Community Fair Trade supplier’s ingredient while we resolve the issue. In doing so, we work to our internal standard operating procedures (governed by our Sustainable Sourcing Charter and its principles) to ensure rapid resolution with minimal impact on the community.
In the event that we need to stop trading with a Community Fair Trade supplier, we will aim to give at least 12 months’ notice of the last order for the product. We will discuss ways to support and minimise negative impact on their organisations, and collaboratively build 'exit strategies' to help them plan for the future.
OUR ETHICAL TRADE PROGRAMME
We believe in business as a force for good, and we’re always striving to empower people and the planet. This forms the basis of our Ethical Trade programme. We believe that all workers in our supply chain should be free from exploitation and discrimination and enjoy conditions of freedom, security and equity.
We only trade with suppliers that meet our Ethical Trade standards to ensure workers remain free from exploitation. We ask all our suppliers to sign a Code of Conduct to ensure they formally commit to upholding areas like these:
- Health and safety
- Safe and hygienic working conditions
- Never using child labour
- Living wages
- Working hours that are not excessive
- No discrimination
- Regular employment is provided
- People are treated with respect