Sustainable Cosmetics From the Rainforest
— Symrise champions biodiversity in the Amazon region
— Development aid project improves the value chain for farmers
— Research into raw materials from the region for scent and care products
Symrise supports sustainable agriculture in the Amazon region and launched a three-year
project in October 2017 that will help farmers to improve their products and to diversify. To do
so, Symrise has partnered up with the Brazilian cosmetics manufacturer Natura and the German
Society for International Cooperation (GIZ). The goal of this project, alongside protection of the
local rainforest, is to significantly improve value creation for the local farmers and cooperatives.
The Amazon region is known for its biodiversity. Eighty percent of the flora and fauna of Brazil can be
found here. It stretches across almost two-thirds of Brazil – for now. But continued deforestation and the
not yet sustainable use of natural resources are threatening this unique marvel of nature. Large swaths
of natural vegetation have been lost in the past decades. Symrise wants to counteract this and has
launched a program, supported by the governmental department for development aid, to protect the
The company has teamed up with the Brazilian cosmetics manufacturer Natura and the German Society
for International Cooperation (GIZ) for this project. They are working to support sustainable agriculture in
the Amazon region. The idea is to restore the natural vegetation along the Trans-Amazonian Highway
and in the Northeastern Pará and Ponta do Albuna regions through changed cultivation of the land and
reforestation measures. The farmers and cooperatives will learn how to cultivate the land more
effectively with the help of the latest technology. This will increase their yields and allow them to stabilize
their livelihoods through a higher income. The result is therefore sustainable for the people and the
Increased profitability through expertise and technology
In the past, sustainable methods were not sufficiently competitive to offer the local farmers an economic
alternative to the extensive cultivation and deforestation of the forests. Cooperatives that have used this
type of cultivation tend to focus on individual products or try to make parts of the manufacturing process
sustainable. The Symrise project therefore aims to make the entire value chain profitable. This had
hardly been possible for farmers and small farms because they did not have adequate technical
equipment or management support. Symrise and Natura are therefore providing the cooperatives with
technical equipment and management expertise on site. The GIZ will train the farmers in Brazil and
handle government aid.
Setting new standards
Everyone benefits from this project. Customers in purchasing countries want sustainably produced raw
materials. Companies that import products from the Amazon region are therefore looking to fulfill not
only sustainability standards but also better standards for quality. The 14 partners in the local
cooperatives, which more than 1,000 families depend on, should also be able to increase their sales by
20 percent and gain certification from the Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT). At the same time, the
partners are supporting the reuse of materials by developing new products from side streams.
Symrise is involved in this project in order to protect the rainforest, but it is also connected to the
expansion of existing business models. The changed cultivation of the land helps to build sustainable
value creation in the cosmetics industry. The company combines protecting biodiversity with researching
raw materials for scent and care – in harmony with nature. “It is important to involve all potential parties
in this project. Reshaping and improving the technical expertise and processes in the communities is a
huge opportunity for everyone,” says Adelino K. Nakano, Regional Innovation Director at Symrise.
Symrise is a global supplier of fragrances, flavorings, cosmetic active ingredients and raw materials, as well as functional ingredients. Its clients include manufacturers of perfumes, cosmetics, food and beverages, the pharmaceutical industry and producers of nutritional supplements and pet food.
Its sales of more than € 2.9 billion in the 2016 fiscal year make Symrise a leading global provider in the flavors and fragrances market. Headquartered in Holzminden, Germany, the Group is represented by more than 90 locations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the United States and Latin America.
Symrise works with its clients to develop new ideas and market-ready concepts for products that form an indispensable part of everyday life. Economic success and corporate responsibility are inextricably linked as part of this process. Symrise – always inspiring more ...