Natura & Co., which makes cosmetics with natural additives from the Amazon and uses suppliers there, is urging Brazil to strengthen environmental protections in the Amazon in the wake of the fires that broke out this year, according to an article on Reuters. Under Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, mass deforestation has spiked.
The company has been tied to the Amazon since 1999, after partnering with 37 communities that supply dozens of its ingredients. Some of Natura’s suppliers, mostly nuts, were affected by the fires, some losing entire plantations, which caused operational challenges for the company.
In August, Reuters reported that Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro’s government systematically weakened the country’s environmental agency, Ibama. Bolsonaro, who took office earlier this year, grounded an enforcement team and forbade agents from destroying deforestation machinery.
The Amazon, which is considered a key component in combating climate change because of its carbon dioxide absorbing capabilities, saw surges in fires in August and deforestation in Brazil’s region hit an 11-year high this year.
Natura has convened meetings to improve dialogue between government officials, nonprofits and local communities. The company also publicly backed nonprofit Health and Happiness Project and expressed concerns about a state police raid.
After acquiring The Body Shop in 2017 and Avon Products Inc. this year, Natura is soon to become the fourth largest beauty group in the world. The company has invested about $1.5 billion reais in activities in the Amazon and Natura CEO João Paulo Ferreira sees Natura increasing Amazon investments.