Fairtrade cosmetics ride on success of naturals

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Fair trade Trade Cosmetics

Fairtrade has become almost inextricably linked with the fast-growing organic and naturals market, according to a new report from Organic Monitor.

A new report from the market research provider, entitled Fairtrade Cosmetics & Ingredients, highlights how organic and natural players have been amongst the first companies to engage in the field.

The global report highlights how the biggest market for fairtrade is France, which is also one of the biggest individual markets for organic and natural personal care products.

France biggest fairtrade market

Organic Monitor says that as a result the French market has the largest recorded number of personal care products launched bearing the internationally-recognized Fair Trade mark.

Although the development of the naturals and organics market has been concentrated in Europe, the North American is catching up fast.

To this end the report highlights the fact that, after France, the US is actually the world’s second largest market according to retail sales figures for last year.

Hain Celestial

One of the most prominent brands in that market is Queen Helene Naturals from Hain Celestial. A range of certified fairtrade cosmetics was launched under this brand name in July 2007, distributed in natural food shops and mainstream supermarkets nationwide.

The market report also highlights the fact that fair-trade cosmetics products are expected to continue to rise in popularity on a global basis during the course of the year, in correlation with the ‘mainstreaming’ of natural and organic personal care brands.

However, the report also highlights the fact that one factor that may limit the expansion of fairtrade personal care products is the limited number of fairtrade certified ingredients, which means that formulators often have limited possibilities.

Not all ingredients are fairtrade

This can partly explain the reason why US companies such as Bee Ceutical Organics, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps and Alaffa have developed products containing some fairtrade ingredients but have not secured fairtrade certification.

Organic Monitor points out that in the past ten years up to 2007, global sales of fairtrade products have grown seventy-fold to reach an estimated total of $3.5bn in 2007.

And with sales increasing by 47 percent in 2007 alone, all the indications are that some of the biggest growth rates remain to be achieved.

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