After having largely contributed to the exponential growth of the natural cosmetics market, with a wide range of natural, sustainable and eco-designed ingredients, matching the new expectations of consumers, Laboratoires Expanscience are strengthening their commitments to fair trade with an Ecocert’s Fair for Life certification for several of their ingredients supply chains.

After having launch its own CSR policy in 2004, having joined the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) in 2011, and achieved a B Corp certification for two years ago, the French company has been striving to control and minimize all impacts - in particular social, economic and environmental - linked to its supplies of plant raw materials and the design of its ingredients, while contributing to the economic development of local producers.

Certified supply chains

In line with this strategy, Expanscience has recently obtained the Fair for Life label for three ingredients in their catalogue: Skinhairgium® Bio, a double skincare and haircare active that stimulates cell renewal, derived from Peruvian organic maca [1]; Macaline®, a slimming active, rich in polyphenols derived from up-cycled leaves of Peruvian organic maca; and an organic illipe butter [2], a sensory and ecological ingredient, sourced on the island of Borneo.

"The Fair For Life label is the culmination of a long-term work, it provides our customers with the guarantee of an independent certification body on the quality and sustainability of the supply chains that we have built over the years", explains Angéline Rocherieux, Marketing Manager at Laboratoires Expanscience.

Indeed, for more than 10 years, Expanscience has deployed a "responsible plant sourcing" policy based on the ISO 26000 standard, the UEBT’s Ethical BioTrade standard, and complying with international agreements relating to access to natural resources and human rights. Working in Peru for over 15 years, the company operates a processing plant in the country and has forged close relationships with several local producers.

The Fair For Life label thus makes it possible to take into account the social pillar of sustainability: a fair purchase price (higher than the market price), guaranteed volumes, decent and safe working conditions throughout the supply chain, and funding of local projects.

Fair trade enables us to promote healthy and beneficial trade practices for both people and the planet Earth throughout the industry. Taking part in this collective effort makes us particularly proud,” adds Angéline Rocherieux. “The entire value chain, from the producer to our production facilities, including processing sites have been audited.

Win/win approach

To achieve the certification of their organic maca supply chain in Peru, Expanscience has strengthened their relationships with producers in the Andean highlands, through the implementation of purchasing agreements for a minimum period of 3 years, including commitments to buy fair volumes at fair prices, and on transparency and traceability.

All in all, the quality and strength of the supply chain is significantly enhanced. "The privileged relationship we have with our suppliers provides us with full traceability of the ingredients, it allows us to secure our purchases and to guarantee total transparency to our customers in the global cosmetics industry. It’s a win/win approach,” explains Armelle Le Peniec, Director of Cosmetic Actives at Laboratoires Expanscience.

Beyond reinforcing the security of supply, Fair For Life certified chains also allow brands that use the concerned ingredients to strengthen their own CSR strategies. The possibility of mentioning this certification on the packaging of their products, makes it possible to inform consumers that the ingredient used in their product’s formula comes from fair trade. "Thus, consumers will be able to choose responsible cosmetic products, with full awareness and transparency," underlines Angéline Rocherieux.

A perfect complement to Expanscience’s eco-responsible approach, the Fair For Life label should soon be extended to other ingredients.