Beauty Products, Skin Creams, Balms and Lotions

Beauty productsIn Europe at least 5 billion beauty products are sold each year

1. using around 1.5 million tonnes of ingredients.

2 Opening the beauty market to Fair Trade labeling can provide potentially huge market opportunities to both existing Fair Trade certified producers (for example of shea nut butter, cocoa butter, sugar and honey) as well as producers of potential new Fair Trade ingredients (for example beeswax and coconut oil).  

The primary benefit of Fair Trade will be the development of long term and supportive trading relationships with the companies to whom they sell. While the Fair Trade minimum price and premium will help improve their stability of income and ability to reinvest in their communities, the Fair Trade system recognizes that most beauty products are often heavily water-based and contain relatively small volumes of natural ingredients. The Fair Trade model for beauty products therefore seeks to add further value for producers by obliging companies to develop a partnership plan by which they commit to additional support for the producers of the raw ingredients. This could be additional financial support for producer business improvements or community projects, or technical support with market access, management or other needs.

Information provided by the Fairtrade Foundation.

  1. European Commission and COLIPA
  2. Figures are extrapolated from Euromonitor data 2005 and from COLIPA data. UK market share is ~17% of EU market. The combined market share for cosmetics in Germany, France and UK is 57% of the EU market.

Shea Butter

Shea butterIn early years, shea nuts were exported in their purest form and chemically converted in the purchasing countries. While the original aim was to create markets for these products, this system instead increased producers' dependence on an unfavorable economic system. In addition to reducing the quality of shea butter from industrial processes, these agreements proved detrimental to the financial empowerment of producers.


  • Shea Trees can produce fruit for over 200 years
  • The traditional uses of shea butter are for cooking, lighting oil lamps, and manufacturing soap
  • The popularity of shea butter in Europe and North America has created a strong demand for its large-scale commercialization

Fair Trade producers process shea nuts in accordance with traditional methods. Continuing this practice in a co-operative not only preserves local knowledge, but also enables these producers to sell shea butter at a sustainable price that covers their costs of production. The price paid to producers of shea butter Fair Trade Certified is often two to three times higher than the conventional market price.

Information provided by Fairtrade Canada.

Brands To Look For