An example of agroforestry

PARIS — As Garnier takes an ever more natural approach and gears up to launch a new organic line, the beauty brand has partnered with Fondation GoodPlanet, a non-governmental organization supporting ecology and sustainable development.

Beginning this month and lasting for three years, Garnier and GoodPlanet will work together to support and educate farmers in France’s Seine-Normandy basin to carry out projects in agroforestry, a land-management system combining agriculture and forestry. This is meant to help shift farming that is sensitive to climatic and economic risks and that consumes a lot of energy to one that’s more autonomous and gentler to nature, while improving farmers’ income.

The project, which is also in partnership with the French Agroforestry Association, will involve seven pilot farms, the planting of 2,800 trees on 35 hectares, the training of 50 farmers three days per year and the raising of awareness of 50 members of the general public during two “open farm” days annually.

Élodie Bernadi, brand director of Garnier France, said the tie-in was a natural fit, since the L’Oréal-owned brand and Fondation GoodPlanet have a lot in common. She explained that includes “a desire to realize strong commitments to the planet and future generations, with nature at the heart of both our histories and the same mission of democratizing those commitments for the general public.”

The partnership is also in sync with the ethics of the Garnier Bio skin-care line, due out this year, that’s Ecocert certified as organic and has a “give back to nature” approach. This includes all of its ingredients stemming from renewable sources and issuing from organic agriculture and fair trade.

A Garnier Bio product

A Garnier Bio product.  Courtesy Photo

“Since 1904, Garnier has been developing products [with formulas] based on actives from natural ingredients,” Bernadi said. “Fore more than five years now, we’ve wanted to switch from a brand inspired by nature to a natural brand.”

Claire Sellier, head of projects at Fondation GoodPlanet, explained that such a strategy chimed with her organization.

“Garnier’s ‘naturalness’ approach, with the progressive replacement of the chemical components in its products with ingredients of natural origin seemed interesting to us,” she said, adding that more than 90 percent of the ingredients in Garnier’s new organic product line originate from nature.

Sellier also lauded Garnier’s efforts to be increasingly rigorous in how it procures raw materials, with a focus on the resulting environmental impact and benefits to local producers.

She said that today, farmers are paying the price of the modernization of agricultural practices over the past few decades that have had some benefits, such as upping productivity, but also considerably degraded the ecosystems.

“These consequences impact the environment, of course, but also the future agricultural yields,” Sellier said. “Today, these farmers also suffer from a negative image of being a polluter and producer of contaminated food, and many would like a change.”

This project marks the first time GoodPlanet, which was founded by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, has teamed with a beauty brand.

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