The three-year project began in October last year, and aims to both protect the local rainforest and significantly improve value creation for local farmers and cooperatives.
“It is important to involve all potential parties in this project. Reshaping and improving the technical expertise and processes in the communities is a huge opportunity for everyone,” says Adelino K. Nakano, Regional Innovation Director at Symrise.
Tech helping improve sustainability
Symrise asserts that a central aim of the project is “increased profitability through expertise and technology.”
Symrise and Natura are providing the cooperatives with technical equipment and management expertise on site, the company explains, while the GIZ will train the farmers in Brazil and handle government aid.
There are 14 partners in local cooperatives involved in the project, which, Symrise suggests, more than 1,000 families depend on.
Through the project, these partners should be able to increase their sales by 20% and gain certification from the Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT).
“The changed cultivation of the land helps to build sustainable value creation in the cosmetics industry,” says Symrise.
Digital solutions to a global issue
Symrise is not the only major consumer goods player active in the beauty industry that is making efforts to support sustainable palm oil through digital solutions.
Recently, Henkel announced a similar project, based in Colombia. It has teamed up with a development organisation, Solidad, to support smallholder farmers with a digital platform.
The ‘Farming Solution’ platform allows smallholder farmers to better manage their supply chain activities, and supports them with tutorials, manuals and progress reporting.
“Projects like this latest partnership between Henkel and Solidaridad make a pioneering difference to farmers’ lives, by accelerating the adoption of sustainable practices,” suggests Henkel.
“This new project shows the massive potential for digital technology to drive progress toward sustainability.”