Invited suppliers came from across the UK, Europe, Asia and USA to partake in the event, the second of its kind. It was an occasion to strengthen relationships and to share expectations with The Body Shop teams. “The Supplier Day provided a business update on the strategy outlined in last year’s edition and re-confirmed the direction for the coming years,” explains Jerome Courtaigne, Sourcing Director of The Body Shop.

The gathering also allowed to reconfirm the brand’s specificity, in particular in regards to its Ethical and Community Fair Trade programmes and its five Values : Against Animal Testing, Support Community Fair Trade, Activate Self Esteem, Defend Human Rights and Protect Our Planet. “2012 is a landmark year for The Body Shop to pave the way for a sustainable growth” adds Jerome Courtaigne.

Opening the event, Ann Massal, Brand Director, spoke about the achievements and challenges of The Body Shop and her expectations for suppliers to deliver more innovation. Innovation is one of The Body Shop’s five main key performance indicators (KPIs) for suppliers, along with quality, supply chain, sustainable development and competitiveness. It is one of the most important indicators within The Body Shop’s Convergence sourcing strategy. The Supplier Day is complemented by another annual event, the Innovation Day, which was also started last year and will be organised once again this July.

Philippe Reale, Director of Operations, underlined how suppliers directly contribute to the performance of Operations through excellence on these KPIs, something that The Body Shop sees as the basis for building a robust and sustainable relationship.

Suppliers awarded

A much anticipated addition this year was the first supplier awards. A total of eight awards were given to the following:

- Best Overall Finished Good Supplier, LF Beauty,
- Best Overall Packaging Supplier, M&H Plastics,
- Best NPD Supplier, Fleet Laboratories,
- Best Value Re-engineering and Convergence Supplier, Laleham Healthcare,
- Best Quality Supplier, Soapworks,
- Best Improved Quality, S&J International Enterprises,
- Best Service Level Supplier, LF Beauty,
- Best Improved Service level, Hampshire Cosmetics.

After the ceremony, Frederic Ennabli, CEO of The Body Shop, led a very active Q&A session, delivering many insights on the business strategy and future growth.

Christophe Guesnet, Chief Purchasing Officer of L’Oréal Group, touched upon the strategic role of suppliers at The Body Shop. He also highlighted the potential for suppliers who perform well for The Body Shop to have business opportunities into the wider L’Oréal Group.

According The Body Shop, the Convergence sourcing strategy, which was initiated in 2011 with the very first Supplier Day, has been delivering results to the business through better volume consolidation by core supplier expertise, value re-engineering on core products, innovation for new product developments and continuous improvement on the five KPI.

The Body Shop wants to reinforce the business relationship with main suppliers with tangible benefits for both parties and to become the preferred customer for the key vendors. This event is a major milestone to better align The Body Shop and suppliers strategies based on mutual understanding and shared goals,” highlighted Jerome Courtaigne at the end of the event.