What can the industry do next to protect vulnerable supply chain producers?

By Jo Allen | Published: 28-Jul-2022

Brands are increasingly expected to support workers throughout their supply chain. Cross-company collaboration could be the industry’s best shot at progress

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This article was originally published in the July issue of Cosmetics Business Trend Report

Occasionally, major coverage breaks through: forced labour and abusive conditions in the palm oil sector; child labour in the mica and cocoa bean industries.

Yet the considerable challenges faced by producers of many other natural raw materials used in the creation of beauty products are even less frequently reported.

A lack of health and safety rules for shea butter producers, for example, means that they are at high risk of respiratory harm and excessive burns as a result of exposure to firewood and naked flames.

Injuries from the traditional kneading process are common, while a 2018 study published in the International Journal of Innovative Research and Advanced Studies found that over 85% of nutpickers have suffered immensely from snake and scorpion bites due to having no protective clothing or appropriate equipment.

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