Colgate-Palmolive seeks to inspire change with commitment to buy from First Nations growers
Sourcing of native ingredients for Palmolive Skin Food hand and body cleansing products aims to spur action by industry in support of Indigenous communities
How can the choice of where to buy trending ingredients by one of Australia's leading personal care brands spark meaningful change for First Nations Peoples?
Colgate-Palmolive’s latest hand and body cleansing product range, Palmolive Skin Food, is infused with native Australian extracts. While native ingredients like river mint and quandong peach are on-trend - with the industry expected to double between 2020-2025 - First Nations representation in the native agricultural supply chain is low; industry bodies suggest less than 2%2, 3.
“When we started our Skin Food journey we hadn’t planned to seek out First Nations suppliers,” said Senior Brand Manager at Colgate-Palmolive, Kate Johnson. “But as the team developed the new range, we came to learn about the underrepresentation of First Nations Peoples in the native agriculture supply chain. By partnering with First Nations growers, we hope to set off a domino effect among companies like ours, which will provide new opportunities for Indigenous communities.”
Early on, the team met Dominic Smith, owner of the Pundi Produce & Diramu brands and proud Yuin man living on Ngawait country in SA. “He opened our eyes to how companies could support First Nations Peoples through the native agriculture supply chain,” Johnson said. Following in the footsteps of his Aboriginal ancestors, Dominic uses a mix of ancient & traditional methods to grow native river mint in aquaponics systems that encourages biodiversity & water conservation. Dominic is supplying the native river mint for Palmolive Skin Food's newest hand wash, Palmolive Skin Food Native River Mint Foaming Hand Wash, which is set to hit shelves in a few weeks.
“Aboriginal people have nurtured the native food industry for 60,000 years.” says Dominic. “Native plants have been our food & medicine, our totems, our songlines & our cultural heritage; but we are sometimes overlooked in the industry, and business efficiency takes priority. It’s time to change to a future where our
People are empowered, they have a strong belief system & our culture is celebrated & shared with everyone.”
Said Lisa Carroll of NATIVE EXTRACTS, a leading supplier of Australian native botanical extracts in collaboration with First Nations enterprises, “If we can strengthen growth of the native ingredient supply chain, we can improve socio-economic outcomes for First Nation growers as well as amplify their important stories, which need to be heard."
The Colgate-Palmolive team, after meeting with Dominic and other Indigenous agricultural business owners, Aboriginal elders and community members, and Native Extracts has committed to consciously source native ingredients from First Nations growers and suppliers.
The Company also has established a sponsorship program with First Nations growers that invests in infrastructure for the native foods industry.And importantly, the brand is sharing the stories of three First Nation growers as part of its new campaign, titled ‘We not me’, to promote its Skin Food range. Native foods are synonymous with First Nations People, culture and ancestral heritage. These profile videos are intended to shine a light on the importance of First Nations participation in native agriculture.
Colgate-Palmolive Marketing Director Anthony Crewes says “We have no illusions that the Palmolive brand alone can make a lasting impact on the prospects of First Nations growers, but we hope our step forward in forming meaningful partnerships inspires change amongst our industry. Collectively, we can make a difference. We encourage all manufacturers to take a closer look at their supply chains and consider the conscious choice for authentic inclusion of our First Nations native plant growers within Australia.”
1. The native food industry, according to the latest available market research from the University of Sydney, was worth $81.5 million in the 2019-2020 financial year, with the potential to double by 2025, AFR
First Nations representation in the native agriculture supply chain is under 2%, First Nations Bushfood and Botanical Alliance (FNBBAA)
First Nations representation in the native agriculture supply chain is under 2%, National Indigenous Land and Sea Strategy
● First Nations people are the most socially and economically deprived group in Australia (2004 Senate inquiry - A hand up not a hand out: Renewing the fight against poverty - Report on poverty and financial hardship)
● Over 30% nationally live in poverty and 54% in remote regions (Australian Council of Social Service, 2016)
● First Nations People are the oldest living culture on Earth; they have cultivated native plants for over 60,000 years (National Museum Australia)
About the Palmolive Skin Food ‘we not me’ campaign
The campaign is split into two parts with different objectives. The first is a content series that tells the stories of three First Nations growers, shining a light on their traditional agricultural practices, connection to land & culture. This series is running on NITV and is aimed at educating and inspiring First Nations involvement in the agriculture sector, directly addressing the issue of under-representation of First Nations peoples in the supply chain.
Video - Meet Dominic Smith Video - Meet Dan Newchurch Video - Meet Auntie Pat Torres
The second is a fun and upbeat consumer focused campaign featuring First Nations actor and Skin Food enthusiast, Miranda Tapsell. It highlights the product’s native superfood ingredients, hyper-nourishing formula and Palmolive’s partnership with First Nations growers.
Palmolive Skin Food ad with Miranda Tapsell
Palmolive has personal care products in more than 55% of Australian households (IRI data).
At Colgate-Palmolive Australia, we want everyone to feel they belong, which starts with cultivating a work environment that embraces diversity, fosters equity and drives inclusion throughout all levels of the company around the world.
OUR RAP: Creating & evolving a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) plays a key role in bringing our 2025 Strategy to life. We will continue to create a culture where everyone including existing and future First Nations people feel they belong and have the tools to drive their own success. Our RAP was ratified by Reconciliation Australia in April 2023.
OUR (COLGATE_PALMOLIVE) ACTIONS:
FIRST NATIONS PARTNERSHIPS
Colgate-Palmolive holds a long history of partnering with First Nations communities & supporting organisations across Australia, through sharing oral health initiatives, product donations & providing educational materials
- Sponsorship partnerships with First Nations growers for investment in infrastructure to support development of the native agriculture industry
- Changed our sourcing of native ingredients via partnership with key industry supplier NATIVE EXTRACTS PTY LTD
- Supported a project, in partnership with The Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future (ACFF) & in collaboration with the POCHE Centre for First Nations Health, to providing water fountains to remote communities where water is unpalatable
- Developed partnerships with government groups who work with First Nations communities on oral health programs. Free application of Duraphat Varnish twice a year in communities that have no water fluoridation is one way to help protect teeth.
- University Partnerships to create change in the oral health outcomes in First Nations communities through product & monetary donations to support oral health promotion opportunities & select funding to assist First Nations oral health research.
Colgate-Palmolive has supported the Kimberley Dental Team, a volunteer dental organisation which visits remote communities in the Kimberley, to provide education, prevention and treatment services to First Nations communities. We have provided to othbrushes & toothpaste for the last five years, & our own Dr. Cartwright assisted in the services provided in 2022.
Colgate-Palmolive employees over the years have volunteered their time at The Smith Family’s First Nations Youth Leadership Program’s ‘Straight Talk’ event to speak to First Nations students about further education, careers & various options that are available.
Colgate-Palmolive has supported ID. Know Yourself during 2022 by providing ‘life lessons’ on personal oral hygiene & pet ownership to the children in out of home care.
Colgate-Palmolive supports the University of Sydney, University of Adelaide, Macquarie University & Griffith University funding research, development of culturally specific oral care communications & the installation of water fountains in remote First Nations communities. Products like toothpaste & toothbrushes are also donated to University partners & the Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS) for distribution into remote schools as part of Oral Care Workshops.
ABOUT NATIVE EXTRACTS
NATIVE EXTRACTS Pty Ltd are leading innovators in botanical extractions. Their mission is to eco-consciously, ethically & responsibly source Australian native plants and fruits in collaboration with First Nations Enterprises.
Find out more about NATIVE EXTRACTS here
CONTACT NATIVE EXTRACTS PTY LTD Lyndall Murray
Chief Marketing Officer & Global Strategy firstname.lastname@example.org
0415 055 514