Cosmetics are not as superficial as the subject is sometimes depicted. Why do all the ingredients in natural cosmetics come from? At best from organic and fair cultivation – so that not only something good is done to the skin, but also to the environment and other people. You really need to report much more often on the ecological and social commitment of natural cosmetics companies. And that’s why I present you three exemplary cultivation projects in this blog post:
Macadamia Nut Oil from Kenya by Dr. Hauschka
Macadamia oil smoothes, nourishes and protects the skin. is, for example, in the founding of Dr. Hauschka. The pioneer of natural cosmetics does not procure the oil from an anonymous raw material trader, but participates in a local cultivation project in Kenya. Dr. Hauschka works here with Limbua, which supports more than 5,000 smallholders in the marketing of organic macadamia nuts. You can see the team in the photo above.
Almost two years ago I was able to visit the project in the area around Mount Kenya. On the trip we were invited by several farmers who cultivate and pick nuts and finally in Limbua – and therefore to Dr. Hauschka – sell. The price is much higher than that of other buyers of nuts.
I was surprised that each of the farmers only has about 5-10 macadamia trees. Plants such as coffee, pineapples or bananas grow around: mixed cultivation instead of monoculture and therefore the best conditions for organic cultivation!
Long-term contracts ensure the income of farmers. This way, they can make a living in this rural area and not have to migrate to Nairobi slums. I believe that such social aspects are very important in cultivation projects.
Macadamia nuts are then crushed, sorted and packaged in one of three local plants that are certified organic and fair for life.
The project allowed the creation of a school farm in four schools. Students are actively experimenting with organic farming here. At the same time, they are multipliers that transmit this knowledge to their parents and thus ensure the fertility of the soil for the future.
Lavender oil from Moldova by Weleda
Normally, when you think of lavender, you think of southern France, but Weleda gets its lavender essential oil from Moldova. Lavender has also been grown there for centuries, but the area has been forgotten since the 1990s.
I could imagine that many people do not really know where Moldova is. Spoiler: Between Romania and Ukraine, not far from Germany, which borders the EU. Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe, which is why a Weleda cultivation project is so important here: Weleda has been active in Moldova since in 2005 with a partner who takes care of more than 200 smallholders.
Lavender essential oil is produced in the field with a mobile distillation system immediately after harvest. On the occasion of Weleda’s 90th birthday, the rural area was supported by the creation of a health and social station. If you know all this about the project, you can enjoy even more the relaxing effects of the Weleda lavender bath, in which the essential oil is used.
Rose oil from Turkey from Primavera
Ute Leube, the founder of Primavera, traveled to Turkey in the late 1980s (30 years ago!) And began growing Damascus roses in the Taurus Mountains: 42 farming families cultivate a “garden with roses »3,000 square meters.
Fair trade and organic quality have been important to Primavera since the beginning, which is why rose fields have been grown organically since 1993. Traditional home remedies such as garlic or onions are used to protect roses from pests.
Anyone who wants to take part in this long-term partnership can, for example, smell the “Rose Turkish 10%” essential oil from Primavera – it has a harmonizing and invigorating effect on the soul (and it smells great like a bouquet of roses).
Cooperation at eye level
What all three farms have – and there are many more – was summed up by a Kenyan farmer with a picture: “It’s not the fish to bring to Kenya, but the reed.” In other words, these farming projects are not charitable events, but collaborations on an equal footing. The focus is on responsible and equitable management and the global promotion of organic farming. And it is precisely for these inner values that I value so much