A BODY Shop store manager will trek to the earth’s most remote corners after being appointed one of only 10 people to support fair trade across the globe.
Nicola Strange, who works in the Golden Square branch, will represent the UK after being selected from thousands of applicants to take on the role of a community trade ambassador and advocate the company’s work.
The 34-year-old applied for the voluntary position having taken a great interest in her company’s ethical trading practices.
Her first official duty involved going on a fact-finding mission to the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu earlier this month for a week to see where the first community trade initiative was established back in 1987.
Nicola, from Stockton Heath, said: “This is a unique opportunity to witness the good work that The Body Shop does to support its suppliers and provide them with a better quality of life and improved opportunities for their communities.”
Now back in Warrington, she plans to use her newfound knowledge in the town by educating colleagues and customers about the benefits of ethical trading through talks.
“One of the secret ingredients in a number of Body Shop products is babassu oil from Brazil,” she said.
“A fair price is paid to the women who collect the oil, known as babassu breakers, and this has enabled them to form a co-operative to fight against the deforestation that threatens their livelihood.”
Nicola explained during the interviews that the oil was her favourite product because she believes it incorporates the organisation’s values.
The fair trade company that she and the team visited in India was Teddy Export, which makes hand-crafted goods for the business.
Twenty years ago, all that existed was a tiny cottage industry, with five employees working from one shack.
Now the company employs 500 men and women – all paid a fair wage, regardless of religion, sex and HIV status.
Other ambassadors included employees from Sweden, Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong.