Aveda champions transparency with beauty’s ‘largest scale’ blockchain programme

By Becky Bargh | Published: 27-Oct-2020

Using QR codes and mobile phones, the brand will be able to trace the journey of vanilla beans from Madagascar to its manufacturing facility in the US

Hair care brand Aveda has launched one of beauty’s ‘largest scale’ blockchain programmes to source its Madagascan vanilla.

The Estée Lauder Companies-owned brand, along with LMR Naturals by IFF, will use the technology to verify the source of its vanilla ingredient, and encourage transparency through the supply chain.

The technology, supplied by blockchain group Wholechain, provides traceability by collecting data from supply chain partners through a digital system.

Traditionally, vanilla beans were traced using a unique Fitomboka stamp, which is embedded directly into the bean and served as a record for farmers.

The Fitomboka has now been digitised and data is captured directly from the farmer in Madagascar using QR codes and mobile phones.

Each farmer has a digital ID card that converts their traceability code via a QR reader and is recorded through blockchain technology.

Using these devices, the brand said its record is ‘tamper-proof’ and will trace the vanilla beans’ journey from Madagascar to LMR, Aveda’s fragrance house partner in Grasse, France, and across the Atlantic to its manufacturing facility in the US.

Aveda said the programme will facilitate positive impacts across the supply chain, particularly for farmers in the region, where 80% of the world’s vanilla is procured.

“With blockchain, we now have a direct connection to our farmers in Madagascar, providing us, our salon partners and our customers more transparency into our supply chain,” said Aveda’s Global Brand President Barbara De Laere.

“This transparency is of utmost importance to us as a brand and we are proud to give our network visibility to the positive impact that, ultimately, they are having on this local community.”

According to Aveda, complexities in supplying vanilla are multilayered and range from price fluctuations to intensive farming needs, which is why the area was selected for the programme.

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