Natura defends environmentalists’ work in Amazon

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Natura defends environmentalists’ work in the Amazon

Related tags Natura Amazon Brazil Sustainability

In light of criticism by the Brazil government towards NGOs working towards protecting the Amazon region, Natura has come out in defense of environmental protection the region.

Natura has traditionally highlighted sustainability and environmentally-friendly policies as part of its company philosophy, so when Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro recently made comments about NGOs purposefully starting fires in the Amazon, the company made clear its stand on the matter.

Bolsonaro has called for greater exploitation of the Amazon region, calling on agricultural and mining sectors to take greater advantage of the still largely unexplored region and make the most of its rich natural reserves.

Natura makes its stand on the Amazon clear

With the acquisition of Avon Products, the company is about to become the fourth largest cosmetics and personal care player in the world, so when Natura CEO João Paulo Ferreira spoke about the matter in a recent interview with Reuters, all ears were peeled when questioned about the Amazon fires that raged throughout the recent dry season.

Although Ferreria has to be diplomatic given the President powers, he did not shy away from making it clear his belief that the government should be doing more in the matter.

"It seems to me the new government is critical of existing control mechanisms but has not yet set in motion alternatives,"​ said Ferreira  in the Reuters interview.

Natura plays its part to support the Amazon

Natura relies on the Amazon region for a significant proportion of the natural ingredients it uses in its products, many of which are derived from a range of nuts produced by farmers there.

In an effort to defend its suppliers and to ensure that future supplies of ingredients can be secured, the company recently publicly backed the Health and Happiness Project.

The NGO was part of government raids against environmental groups working in the Amazon region, which President Bolsonaro has personally blamed for starting the fires out of self-interest.

Natura faces Amazon supply challenges

The Amazon fires have also led to problems for Natura’s ingredient sourcing programs in the region, after stating that some of its nut producers were struggling to meet its demands.

"Luckily, we were able to compensate for shortages by using our extensive network of 4,500 families in the Amazon region,"​ Ferreira said.

The company has been sourcing in the Amazon since 1999 and has supply partnerships with 37 communities that supply an extensive range of natural-based ingredients to the company.

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