Fair trade certification evaluated for Indigenous Australian ingredients

Native Australian plant ingredients such as Kakadu plum and bush tomato, supplied by Indigenous Australian communities to overseas cosmetics manufacturers, could soon be fair trade certified, in what would be a world-first for communities living in developed nations.

According to a report this week by cosmeticsdesign-europe.com, the Kakadu plum and bush tomato, from the Outback Spirit Botanicals range, will be the first ingredients evaluated. If successful, the certification could be extended to other Indigenous Australian products.

In the report, Dr Jane Tiedtke from Cosmetochem, the Swiss-based manufacturers of Outback Spirit Botanicals, said that if certification is gained, “it will allow Cosmetochem to communicate to its customers the contribution being made to the Aboriginal communities which source the fruits… it allows us to offer our customers not only products sourced from an ethical supply chain but also a range of exotic plants and fruits from the Australian Outback.”

The decision to evaluate the ingredients follows a meeting held in Broome, North Western Australia, where attendees including ISEAL, the Fair Labelling Organisation and the World Fair Trade Organisation discussed the feasibility of applying fair-trade principles to communities living in developed nations.

Juleigh Robins, owner of the Outback Spirit brand, said: “Until now fair trade certification has been focused on third world producers in third world countries. But we have come to appreciate that fair trade has the capacity to improve the lives and outcome for… indigenous people that live in first world countries, like Australian Aboriginal people.”

The new certification process could take between one and two years.

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