Organic beauty: Tales from the South Pacific
Across the world, demand is growing for organic and natural oils in cosmetic products. The global market is expected to grow from around $10 billion in revenue in 2023 to over $15 billion by 2026.
The combination of natural ingredients and organic products from the Pacific Islands attracts international attention from consumers looking to buy from authentic producers. Through social media and other channels, end-users better understand the benefits of these natural products.
Among the Pacific Islands, businesses have genuine opportunities to work with small-scale farmers and local communities to develop world-class natural beauty products.
A 2019 market analysis showed that the Asia-Pacific region was the fastest-growing exporter of organic oils, with China and India emerging as large consumers. This demand is driven by consumer interest in organic, raw and natural products and an increasing focus on personal health and wellbeing.
The Pacific Islands are lush with raw and organic products. For example, the coconut industry not only has value in cosmetic export markets (which was valued at $4.5 billion in 2020), but also produces feed for local livestock as a by-product of oil extraction. This is an example of how the circular economy is providing sustainable environmental and economic outcomes.
To support Pacific Island businesses in this growing market, the UK Trade Partnerships Programme (UKTP) at the International Trade Centre (ITC) facilitated the participation of seven beauty care companies from Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Samoa at the Olympia Beauty Trade show in London on 15-16 October 2023.
Four of the companies had successfully attended the Professional Beauty London show in March. They returned to London to sell their products, network with business partners and to enlarge their customer base. The three other companies were participating for the first time at an international trade show, letting them test their products in the UK market.
Many buyers at the show were looking for plant-based and natural products. They were impressed with the quality of the products from the Pacific, especially with those that could be used on sensitive skin.
Chetan Punja from Naturally Fiji said a number of contacts were made, with significant interest from wholesalers, distributers and beauty salons. Punja said the company would soon reach their goal of accessing the UK market. Exporting to the UK would make a positive impact on the livelihoods of around 120 small-holder farmers who supply Naturally Fiji.
Prior to the event, the companies attended a one and a half day training session on Strategic Business Influence: Skills for Effective Negotiation, which was also facilitated by the ITC. With the goal of women’s business empowerment fully integrated into the programme, six out of the seven participants were women.
About the United Kingdom Trade Partnerships Programme
The United Kingdom Trade Partnerships (UKTP) Programme, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, aims to increase trade from developing countries to the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) by maximizing the benefits of UK and EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and the UK's Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS). The UKTP Programme works in partnership with government agencies, private sector organisations, public sector institutions, small and medium-sized enterprises and other local stakeholders.