The Body Shop, founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick who was inspired by her different travels, launched its Community Fair Trade programme 25 years ago. This programme was an attempt to offer a commitment to trading fairly with suppliers, seeking out small-scale farmers, traditional artisans and rural co-ops that are experts in their field.
The CANDELA Community Fair Trade project is currently collaborating with The Body Shop. CANDELA (Comercio Alternativo de Productos No Tradicionales y Desarrollo para Latino América Perú - Alternative Trade of Non Traditional Products and Development for Latin America, Peru) supply around 50,000 Kg of Brazil nut oil for a range of products produced by The Body Shop. In exchange, The Body Shop offers good trading practices and independence-building prices.
Gaston Vizcarra, the founder of CANDELA Peru, manages a group of communities and individuals that collect fruits falling from the trees during rainy season, and then process it into viable raw material. This example shows the benefit that trade in a non-timber forest product can have on the environment. Christina Archer, a senior buyer with the company operating across Latin America, says that, besides protecting the planet, this kind of practices also provide employment for women working in the processing plants, as well as income for the people collecting nuts.
The Body Shop also collaborates with other Community Fair Trade projects, such as oil producers in Nicaragua, organic fair trade alcohol in Ecuador or growers of camomile, peppermint and hemp oil in the UK. The programme touches more than 300,000 people in some of the most vulnerable parts of the world. The commitments of The Body Shop had been recognised by the Ethical Trading Initiative in 2011 as being the highest achiever in the beauty industry.