L’OCCITANE’s RESIST programme showcased at BCtA’s Annual Forum
On 27 September 2019, L’OCCITANE en Provence attended the 9th Business Call to Action Forum ‘Inclusive Business: Emerging Models, Collaboration and Innovation’ to present its holistic approach to development in favour of the women shea butter producers of Burkina Faso, West Africa. Taking place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, the Forum seeks to highlight and strengthen real-world business solutions that contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
L’OCCITANE is deeply committed to protecting natural resources and developing sustainable supply chains. For over 30 years, L’OCCITANE has been sourcing shea butter – one of its most iconic ingredients – from women producers in Burkina Faso. By purchasing fair-trade certified shea butter directly from these women, the brand helps them to build sustainable livelihoods and to pass on their skills from generation to generation. L’OCCITANE’s business model has indirectly helped more than 200,000 people through the benefits to household members and jobs created: 75% of the women involved enrol all (or most) of their children in school and 84% of them are able to contribute to their family expenses.
In 2018, L’OCCITANE launched RESIST (Resilience, Ecology, Strengthening, Independence, Structure, Training), a $2 million project that aims to protect shea resources for 10,000 Burkinabe women producers and preserve biodiversity. The three-year programme helps to secure organic nut access by developing shea parklands and training women producers in the preservation of the shea tree. It also seeks to modernise shea processing, strengthen alternative fuel wood sources by valorising wood waste, and improve the working conditions for the women involved in the shea value chain. In addition, it boosts the women’s economic emancipation by improving their access to markets and generating new activities. Overall, the programme ensures the continuity of traditional knowledge and skills and a sustainable future for the shea industry while making it more attractive for younger generations.
The RESIST programme is supported by L’OCCITANE, public donors such as USAID (thanks to Global Shea Alliance) and SEQUA, as well as local shea butter cooperatives. Furthermore, it relies on the technical aid of the local L’OCCITANE team in Burkina Faso and the NGO NITIDAE. The programme is recognised as ‘exemplary’ by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
UNDP Finance Sector Hub Director
We’re thrilled to see the incredible work that L’OCCITANE has continued to develop with the women of Burkina Faso. For decades, this project has led to significant societal and environmental achievements. This partnership exemplifies what the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) stand for, and we look forward to seeing how L’OCCITANE grows its inclusive business in the years to come.
For additional information about the Business Call to Action (BCtA), please visit: www.businesscalltoaction.org
L’OCCITANE en Provence attended the 9th Business Call to Action Forum