Brazil becomes focus of ethical trading union

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags São paulo

Ethical sourcing of cosmetic ingredients in Brazil stands to benefit from the opening of a Union for Ethical Biotrade representation in the country.

The Union focuses on promoting ethical trade in biodiversity based products and has recently embarked on a programme that attempts to further implicate the cosmetics industry in its work.

Brazil has significant natural biodiversity and a well developed cosmetics industry, in addition to being the home country of one of the Union’s founding members, Natura.

“Being a country rich in biodiversity, and with a strong performing cosmetics market, Brazil is a logical choice for the Union’s first foreign representation,”​ said the Union’s executive director Rik Kutsch Lojenga.

The representation will be run from Sao Paulo and will attempt to grow a wider support base in the country and build better networks with Brazilian companies.

Developing the capacity of verification bodies in the region will be the first project undertaken by the representation.

All trading members of the Union for Ethical BioTrade must comply with the Union’s framework, which is designed to help companies move towards compliance with the principles and criteria of ethical biotrade.

For the Union, it is a journey and companies are not expected to comply immediately; however, third party verification bodies are needed to track a company’s progress over time.

Increasing the number of suitable verification bodies in the region will widen the number of options available for companies looking to join the Union.

Transfer knowledge to other regions

In addition, the Union is hoping the country will become a driving force behind its global expansion, using the extensive knowledge Brazilian players have about ethical sourcing in other regions.

“Brazil also holds much knowledge on the ethical sourcing of biodiversity, experience that we endeavour to promote in other leading cosmetics markets,”​ Lojenga explained.

The representation in Sao Paulo will be headed by Hélène Menu and Cristiane de Moraes.

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