Fair trade certification investigated for aboriginal ingredients

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Australia

Cosmetic ingredients from Aboriginal crops will be evaluated for fair trade certification, the first time the standard will be applied to communities living in developed nations.

Two ingredients from the Outback Spirit Botanicals range, manufactured and marketed under license by Switzerland-based ingredients company Cosmetochem, will be evaluated.

Although, Kakadu plum and the desert raisin (bush tomato) will be the first ingredients to be investigated, if successful the certification could be extended to other Aboriginal products, Dr Jane Tiedtke from Cosmetochem explained.

If gained, the certification will allow Cosmetochem to communicate to its customers the contributions being made to the Aboriginal communities which source the fruits, Tiedtke told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com.

“Traceability and ethical sourcing are hot topics both for our customers and for consumers and so it allows us to offer our customers not only products sourced from an ethical supply chain but also a range of exotic plants and fruits from the Australian Outback.”

‘World first’ for developed nations

The decision to evaluate these ingredients follows a meeting held in Broome, North Western Australia, where attendees including ISEAL, the Fair Labelling Organisation and the World Fair Trade Organisation discussed the feasibility of applying fair-trade principles to communities living in developed nations.

Juleigh Robins, the owner of the Outback Spirit brand and founder of the Outback Spirit Foundation, said this is a world first.

“Until now fair trade certification has been focused on third world producers in third world countries. But we have come to appreciate that fair-trade has the capacity to improve the lives and outcome for …indigenous people that live in first world countries, like Australian Aboriginal people.”

As it will be necessary to design a whole new certification process including a wild harvest element as well as the traditional agricultural systems that fair trade certifies, the process could take between one and two years, Tiedtke explained.

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