As we see in the below snippet, the benefits to the farmers go beyond just more money. For the extra cash is invested back into the farmers villages. Sometimes the cosmetic companies will build other benefits for the villages such as new farms, or schools.
From this Redbook magazine article, writer Krista Bennett DeMai tells us about the products in particular.
During travels in the 1980s, the late Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, learned that many of the communities she visited were not getting paid fairly for their ingredients or goods -- often not enough to cover the cost of production or wages. Inspired by the early fair-trade movement happening with coffee and tea, Roddick started a Community Trade program -- working with undeveloped countries that were otherwise powerless in securing a fair price for their products. Twenty-one years later, The Body Shop spends more than $12 million buying ingredients as well as gifts and accessories, like wooden massage tools and tote bags, from suppliers in more than 20 countries. One of those suppliers is a cooperative of sesame farmers in Achuapa, a village in Nicaragua. When Roddick met the farmers in the 1990s, they were struggling to make a living by exporting sesame oil. Roddick worked out a fair price for the sesame oil (now used in more than 40 Body Shop products, including the Moringa Milk Body Lotion, $16) by calculating how much it costs to grow, as well as the community needs: the cost of living, the cost of education, etc. The cosmetics company then gave the farmers a forecast -- somewhat of a contract -- that projected how much sesame oil the company would purchase over the course of, say, a year, giving the farmers a newfound sense of stability and the ability to invest in their community. "We're not about charity," says Graham Clewer, global head of ethical trade at The Body Shop. "A hand up is always better than a handout."
Since this relationship began, the co-op has built eight primary schools that educate 400 children. And it's currently building a boarding house in Achuapa so 40 kids (mostly children of single moms or those who live in neighboring communities) can attend secondary school. There have been other improvements as well: 13 sanitary water wells built; an acupuncture and natural medicine clinic opened by a single mother of six; a bank, which offers low-interest loans and encourages community members to save money; a model farm, to test organic farming methods; and even family workshops to educate the community on complicated social issues like gender equality and domestic violence.
A lipstick is always a quick pick-me-up, but Aveda's Uruku Lip Pigment, $14, helps lift the spirits of millions. Fifteen years ago, Aveda's founder encountered the Yawanawá tribe in Brazil. The tribe was dispersed after losing much of its land to rubber plantations, explains Chuck Bennett, vice president of earth and community care at Aveda. "Culturally, they were on the verge of extinction." To support the tribe, Aveda began purchasing urukum seed from the tribe. The antioxidant-rich seed is used for the tribe's body-painting rituals because of its vibrant red pigment, which Aveda now uses in its Uruku makeup line. Aveda has also initiated local social projects and school development and has provided equipment for urukum production. The goal: "We're working to move beyond the charitable relationship so they can become a fully sustainable community," says Bennett. The tribe has recently secured the rights to 125,000 acres of sacred land (for a total of 450,000), reestablishing their sense of community.