Beraca hopes ethics and sustainability will prove a winner

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Sustainability, Cosmetics

Brazilian ingredients supplier Beraca believes its entry into the
international competition, World Challenge, will bring
attention to the work it is doing to support local communities in
the amazon, while sourcing cosmetic ingredients without threatening
the environment.

Through its Belem-based subsidiary Brasmazon, the company has entered the competition with an entry named Out of the Forest that highlights ethical ways of sourcing oil from the seeds of Andiroba trees. "Working with local communities in the Brazilian Rain Forestis one of the most important steps of our development chain of specialties for the international cosmetic industry,"​ said Cristiane Martins, Beraca's spokesperson. "The competition was a way to present a successful case of sustainable development with local communities in the Amazon region,"​ she added. Naturally the entry into this high profile competition, supported by the BBC and Newsweek, is also helping to serve a growing trend within the cosmetics industry - the demand for ethical business practices. This trend has developed in tandem with the growing trend for natural and organic-based ingredients - trends that seem inextricably linked because they are driven by a more demanding and often better informed consumer. "Without sustainable practices in the environmental and social ambits including well managed forests, organic certification practices, long term relationships with the local communities and fair trade practices, our Rain Forest Specialties and Active Performance Systems lines would not be possible,"​ Martins added. Beraca's Out of the Forest entry highlights the sustainable sourcing of oil extracted from the seeds, which are found on the island of Marajo, in the Amazon basin. The project involves 1,000 local people who collect the seeds and extract the valuable oil, known for its moisturizing properties. The initiative ensures a livelihood for the islanders during the wet season when they cannot fish, backed by a guaranteed price for the oil. But as well as benefiting the community, Martins also points out that the project is helping to support the cosmetics industry by providing a high quality ingredient that tackles issues of traceability and abides by international standards for organic certification. As the company believes it has a strong chance of being a winner amongst 11 other competition entrants, CosmeticsDesign posed the question of what might happen if it should walk off with either the $20,000 first prize or the $10,000 runner's up prize. "Obviously we did not apply for this contest for the money, but if we win, we will have the opportunity to reinvest it back in the community,"​ said Martins. "The main idea is to add value in the community and maybe support them on the production of the crude Andiroba oil."

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