In March 2020 Ethical Consumer looked for information on the Body Shop's supply chain management. Ethical Consumer searched The Body Shop's website and suppliers website (www.bodyshopinfo.com). On the basis of this, its supply chain management was rated as follows:

Supply chain policy (reasonable)
A code of conduct was found that included adequate clauses on the following:
- Forced labour.
- Freedom of association
- Child labour shall not be used (as defined by the ETI)
- Living wages are paid
- Working hours
- No discrimination is practised
The company's supply chain policy was rated as "reasonable" as no statement could be found that it applied to the company's whole supply chain (including some second tier suppliers).

Stakeholder engagement (rudimentary)
The Body Shop mentioned that it was a founder member of the Ethical Trading Initiative. However, no further mention of stakeholder engagement could be found. There was no mention of engagement with trade unions, or details of a helpline that suppliers' workers could phone to report issues.

Auditing (poor)
Some very scant details were provided of an auditing system. The Body Shop mentioned that it visited its Community Trade producer groups at a minimum once every 4 years. The Body Shop did not appear to have a commitment to audit its whole supply chain. There was no information about who paid for audits. There was no disclosure of audit results nor a clear or transparent audit schedule.

Difficult issues (rudimentary)
The company mentioned training for its buyers and that it formed close long term relationships with suppliers. This was considered to demostrate a commitment to good purchasing practices. However no mention of areas like audit fraud or banned trade unions could be found. Overall the Body Shop was considered to have a rudimentary approach to difficult issues found within supply chains.

Overall, the company received Ethical Consumer's middle rating for its supply chain management.

Reference:

Body Shop website (4 March 2020)

In March 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed the Natura family tree on the website Hoovers.com. The company had subsidiaries in Mexico and Saudi Arabia. At the time of writing Ethical Consumer considered Mexico and Saudi Arabia to be governed by an oppressive regime. The family tree of Avon Products Inc was also viewed, which showed subsidiaries in China (and also Mexico), considered to be an oppressive regime at the time of writing. As Avon had been acquired by Natura in January 2020, it was part of the same company group. The company lost half a mark under Human Rights.

Reference:

Generic Hoovers ref (2020)

On 27th January 2016 the website IndustriAll accused cosmetics company Avon of illegally manipulating the terms of employment of the majority of its female workforce in the Philippines. The report stated that the Avon production plant employed mainly women of whom about 120 were directly employed, while other 350 were working through labour agencies. Those working through the agencies were employed on minimum monthly wage. Many of these contract workers had been performing jobs that were part of the core business of the company for years. They worked on production lines together with their regularly employed colleagues.
This practice was illegal since according to national legislation a worker performing the same job for company for more than one year should have been granted regular employment. Avon engaged labour agencies to act as their bogus employers and deprived these workers of job security and social benefits, which were essential for their families, according to IndustriAll.
A new collective agreement on working conditions was signed between workers’ representatives and the company in September 2015, but in December 2015, 16 of the workers learned that Avon’s General Manager for the Philippines had accused them of conducting an illegal strike when they had been in the collective bargaining process, and filed a case in order to discharge them from work.
The dismissed representatives had an average of 20 years in service each. Apart from many family members whose lives depended on them, the 32 children currently in school would be forced to drop out unless their mothers and fathers were reinstated in the jobs.
IndustriALL Global Union’s Asia Pacific Executive Committee passed a resolution supporting the workers and dismissed trade unionists.
A member of IndustriALL Global Union’s Executive Committee said: “Unlike the company’s slogan that says ‘Beauty is the journey, empowerment is the destination’, the women who make Avon products in the Philippines are far from being empowered with the precarious employment Avon has offered them.”

Reference:

Avon, ‘the company for women’ hurts women in the Philippines (27 January 2016)