Dernier épisode en date de la saga de l’huile de palme bio et durable de Colombie : Body Shop, producteur britanique de cosmétiques, renonce à cette merveille de la nature issue des plantations Daabon. En Grande-Bretagne, Body Shop (filiale du goupe Loréal, oui on l’a déjà dit mais on ne s’en lasse pas) était sur des charbons ardents depuis la révélation au grand public de l’affaire de las Pavas par le journal The Guardian. Body Shop s’est distingué en finançant un rapport technique très détaillé sur cette affaire, publié en août dernier. A sa sortie, Body Shop a d’abord botté en touche en demandant à Daabon de faire des efforts dans cette affaire plutôt louche mais s’est bien vite retranché derrière le fait que l’huile de palme fournie par Daabon provenait d’une tout autre plantation ce qui parfaitement exact. Le bon vieux coup des oeillères : pourvu que le jardin soit bio peu importe le reste du domaine. Mais dans les pays anglo-saxons les mouvements d’opinion ne lâchent pas facilement le morceau et ne se laissent pas facilement embobiner comme en France, n’est-ce pas BIOConsom’acteurs ? Chez nous on préfère se rassurer en famille en se disant que tout ça finira bien par se tasser, n’est-ce pas Bioconvergence (eh oui, encore une histoire de biscuit !) ? Eh bien essayez d’y croire mais ne comptez pas sur nous pour vous y aider.
TEXTE DU COMMUNIQUÉ OFFICIEL
The Body Shop Statement about Las Pavas
In late 2009 The Body Shop was made aware of a local land rights issue in Colombia, involving a Consortium linked to our supplier Daabon. The dispute in Colombia centred on a piece of land purchased by the El Labrador Consortium in 2007, in the area of Las Pavas, Colombia. The Body Shop has no trading relationship with the El Labrador Consortium, however Daabon is associated with it.
Whilst The Body Shop has never sourced any ingredient from the land in question, The Body Shop and Christian Aid jointly commissioned an independent report into the dispute, in order to establish the facts of the case. The independent report was published in July 2010 and clearly highlights the complexity of the case on-the-ground. The local community in Las Pavas claim the land was rightfully theirs, while the Consortium maintains that they acted in good faith when purchasing the land.
Following receipt of the independent report, The Body Shop provided Daabon with details of specific areas where cooperation and engagement by the Consortium could help positively resolve some of the difficulties. Having provided Daabon with sufficient time to put these steps in-place, The Body Shop has reviewed progress to-date and, whilst we understand that they are making efforts in a complex situation, since a systemic and long-lasting solution is no nearer to being reached despite our engagement, The Body Shop has formally terminated its trading relationship with Daabon.
Jan Buckingham, The Body Shop International Values Director says:
“Following receipt of the independent review, we provided Daabon with a series of recommendations to reach a systematic solution for the benefit of Las Pavas community and all parties involved in the dispute. We acknowledge that Daabon have changed their processes for future developments but we are disappointed that the situation in Las Pavas remains unresolved. Having made all efforts to exert our influence to improve the situation, we have decided that the best course of action is to terminate our relationship Daabon.”
ARTICLE DU 3 OCTOBRE 2010 DANS « The Observer »
Rajeev Syal and Sibylla Brodzinsky in Bogotá – The Observer, Sunday 3 October 2010
Body Shop drops supplier after report of peasant evictions in Colombia
Christian Aid welcomes ‘very strong signal’ from Body Shop about unacceptable behaviour of its palm oil supplier
The Body Shop conducted a nine-month inquiry into the behaviour of its palm oil supplier.
The Body Shop is breaking commercial links with a major palm oil supplier in the wake of disclosures by the Observer that the company had pushed for the eviction of hundreds of peasants in Colombia to develop a new plantation.
This newspaper reported last September that Daabon Organic, which provided the cosmetics giant with 90% of all its palm oil, was part of a consortium that asked the courts to remove farmers from a ranch 200 miles (320km) north of the capital, Bogotá.
The Body Shop said that, after a nine-month inquiry, it had terminated its relationship with Daabon, which once supplied the British company with enough oil to produce eight million bars of soap a year. The decision has been hailed as a victory by peasant farmers who are still trying to return to the land. Misael Payares, leader of the Las Pavas community, said: « Daabon knows now that the world is watching. »
Catherine Bouley, a manager for Christian Aid which has backed the farmers, applauded the Body Shop’s decision, but added that the dispute still goes on. « We very much hope Daabon will heed the very strong signal sent by the Body Shop, that their behaviour is unacceptable, » she said.
The dispute began in December 2006 when Daabon’s subsidiary and a partner company bought Las Pavas, a 1,100-hectare ranch in southern Bolívar province. Police in riot gear evicted more than 100 peasant families in July 2009. Solicitors for the farmers claimed that the consortium should have been aware that the land had been home to families who had been cultivating crops including plantain, maize and squash for more than 10 years.
Manuel Davila, chief executive of the Daabon Group, said: « It took the Body Shop almost nine months to analyse and evaluate the situation. How can they expect us to solve the issue in two months? »