The Body Shop Under Fire
Posted on Sep 13, 2009
An ethical row has erupted after the supposedly eco- and human rights-friendly cosmetic provider The Body Shop was accused of buying palm oil from an organization that pressed for the eviction of Colombian peasant families in order to build a new palm plantation. Riot cops evicted the farming families in July. J.C.
The Body Shop, the cosmetics giant that claims to source ingredients from companies that protect local farmers’ rights, buys palm oil from an organisation that pushed for the eviction of peasant families to develop a new plantation.
Daabon Organics, a Colombian firm that provides the British chain with 90% of all its palm oil, was part of a consortium that asked the courts to remove farmers from a sprawling ranch 320km north of the capital Bogotá with a plan to grow African palm. Police in riot gear evicted the farmers in July.
Now solicitors for 123 peasant farmers and their families are appealing against the decision with the backing of a British charity. They say that some locals had lived and worked on the land for more than 10 years and had already applied for the right to own it under Colombian law before the consortium bought it.
The British-owned Body Shop is the world’s second-largest cosmetics franchise with 2,400 stores in 61 countries.