Sun, Nov 24, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Cachet of Provence goes international for French cosmetics firm L’Occitane

By Anne Beade  /  AFP, MANOSQUE, France

The company’s karite comes from much farther afield — from Burkina Faso in west Africa, where about 16,000 women harvest shea tree nuts to extract their butter, with L’Occitane buying the bulk of their output.

When Baussan started working with them 25 years ago they numbered only about 100.

L’Occitane helped build the women’s cooperatives to their current strength in a project that won kudos from the UN Development Program’s Growing Inclusive Markets initiative.

In a sign of L’Occitane’s growing internationalization, it launched a project in Brazil this year to produce a range made exclusively from local ingredients — one way to create a cheaper complement to the costlier “made in France” model.

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