A million bottles of care products delivered by the L’OCCITANE Group show solidarity on many fronts
Today, the L’OCCITANE Group will deliver its millionth care product in support of healthcare workers. This milestone is emblematic of the many initiatives that the Group’s brands and subsidiaries have undertaken around the world to support healthcare workers, along with partners and local communities, through the coronavirus epidemic.
To date, the Group has donated some 700,000 soaps, moisturising lotions and hand balms to healthcare workers in many countries around the world – first in China in February, and subsequently in Japan, Brazil, Russia, several European countries and the United States. It has also donated more than 300,000 bottles – or 75,000 litres – of hand sanitiser, produced over the past four weeks and distributed free of charge to the health authorities in several European countries.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the L’OCCITANE Group
The L’OCCITANE Group has a very strong presence in China. That meant we witnessed the impact of the pandemic very early on and we responded very quickly, first in Asia, then in Europe and now in the Americas. Action was needed and we were able to take it in an efficient and focused way, offering products to stop the spread of the virus.
Donations to local communities around the world
- In France, around 250,000 hand, body and hair care products and Spa gift sets have been, or are about to be, distributed to hospitals and state-funded care homes (‘EHPAD’) in the French departments of Alpes de Haute Provence and Ardèche and to the Paris university hospital trust (Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris, AP–HP).
- The production facility in Ardèche also supplied masks, aprons, gloves and sanitiser to the local health services.
- Melvita, Erborian and L’OCCITANE en Provence brands have raised over €30,000 in funds for the AP–HP Foundation by donating €2 for every new online order.
- The Group’s French subsidiary partnered with its beauty packaging supplier Albéa to donate 5,000 litres, or 42,000 bottles, of hand sanitiser to healthcare workers, as well as Albéa’s staff.
- In the United States, L’OCCITANE en Provence donated some 200,000 basic hygiene products such as shampoo, shower gel, body lotion and soap to the Clean the World® Foundation to help fight COVID-19.
- The Group’s Chinese subsidiary donated more than 20,000 units of moisturising lotion and hand cream to hospital workers in Wuhan and Shanghai. This assistance was echoed in Korea and will soon be extended to Brazil with a major contribution from L’OCCITANE au Brésil.
These are just some examples of the Group and its brands’ many efforts to help fight COVID-19. Product donations are nothing new: since 2011, the Group has donated overstock items to charities and NGOs in France through the organisation Dons Solidaires. Meanwhile, production of hand sanitiser continues in an effort to satisfy healthcare workers’ needs to the extent that production capacity allows.
Standing by the Group’s partners
The Group is also being very active with its partners and suppliers of natural raw materials – the flagship ingredients in its beauty products – which in many cases are sourced from family-owned farms. These farmers forge long-term partnerships with the Group, often agreeing purchase volumes and prices in advance, with 50–80% of costs being paid before the harvest takes place. These contracts are more valuable than ever during these times of crisis, and ensure that producers can sell their stock and count on their income.
Moreover, 75% of the suppliers working with the Group’s French subsidiary – which deals with formulation, manufacturing and main logistics for L’OCCITANE en Provence, Melvita and Erborian products – are on commercial contracts, which demonstrates the true value of partnerships as the Group sees them.
With each of its suppliers, the L’OCCITANE Group is looking closely at how to implement pragmatic solutions to do whatever it can to cushion against the impact of the pandemic. In these unusual times, L’OCCITANE’s support also stands out for its comprehensive, partnership-led approach:
- In Burkina Faso, pandemic-related government restrictions have disrupted the end of the shea harvest. To support the communities of women who supply L’OCCITANE, the Group postponed some delivery dates until September to ensure the women’s safety while maintaining their cash flow. We also plan to equip our employees in Burkina Faso with hand sanitiser.
- In Provence, producers are struggling to recruit workers. To remedy this, L’OCCITANE staff have volunteered to assist with the orange blossom harvest in Vallauris.
- The Group has committed to offering even more support to particularly vulnerable suppliers, such as those who depend heavily on L’OCCITANE.
More generally, the Group aims to be fully transparent with its partners to ensure that they can anticipate long-term purchasing volumes and to set up agreements that are acceptable for all involved. This stance aims to give them at least some idea of what the post-COVID situation may look like.
Collaboration within local ecosystems
Many business partners of the L’OCCITANE Group have distinguished themselves by stepping in quickly and efficiently to meet the needs of government authorities with powerful gestures and unprecedented collaboration, overlooking profit margins to sell at cost. The L’OCCITANE Group takes this opportunity to extend its warmest thanks to its partners, who have helped to produce large quantities of hand sanitiser. Special thanks go to Distilleries et Domaines de Provence, HelmD3 and its supplier Geodis, who respectively produced tens of thousands of litres of alcohol, made warehouse space available and provided delivery services at the Group’s production facility in Manosque. The Group also relied on Schutz’s timely assistance, delivering empty anti-static containers within 24 hours, and that of its packaging supplier Pinard Beauty Pack, which donated thousands of bottles for hand sanitiser.
COVID-19: Solidarity in action