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Calls for cosmetics companies to invest in fairer ​​​​​​​shea butter trade

The Fairtrade Foundation has launched a campaign calling on the cosmetics industry to invest in women shea entrepreneurs.

The Fairtrade Foundation kicked off the campaign inviting the cosmetics industry to invest in and work alongside West Africa’s pioneering women shea entrepreneurs, who are paving the way to a fairer, more ethical beauty industry.

Fairtrade, which has seen a surge in its range of beauty and cosmetics products in recent years (150 products available in 2022, compared to 250 in 2023), wants UK businesses to invest in three Fairtrade-certified shea producer groups in Burkina Faso and in Cote D’Ivoire, as well as an additional six co-operatives in Ghana set gain certification this year.

The campaign asks shoppers to ‘tag a beauty brand’ via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, to show the strength of consumer demand for sustainably made shea containing product.

Kerrina Thorogood, Partnerships Director at the Fairtrade Foundation, commented: “Shoppers want transparency and brands that make a difference, yet the wider beauty industry still isn’t talking enough about the people and stories behind the ingredients in products – including shea.  That’s why we’re rapidly expanding our work in the beauty sector and are excited to launch this shea campaign to drive deeper change for the women behind this popular ingredient.

“Thanks to trust in the FAIRTRADE Mark (79 per cent, Kantar Profiles Q1 2023), brands who back Fairtrade can reassure their customers that the shea butter in their products is a sustainably sourced, natural ingredient. As new shea butter co-operatives join Fairtrade and supply increases, shea producers are keen to partner with more beauty businesses, through Fairtrade.”

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