The GSA is a non-profit industry association that promotes the use of shea butter in both the beauty and food industries. It supports its more than 600 members from 38 countries, which consists of women cooperatives, brands, suppliers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The GSA has strong ties in the European and American cosmetics industries. However, it is not as active in the Asia Pacific region, which is something the GSA hopes to change, said regional office manager Nestor Dèhouindji

The trade association was at Cosmoprof Asia 2022 with a group of small businesses dealing in shea butter, including Univers Cosmetiques and S’Fako Nature. Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Asia​, Dèhouindji said seeking​ out more opportunities in APAC is crucial, as it is a huge market for beauty.

“Asia is a growing market for beauty, and we know that share is a very good ingredient to be used as beauty products. We’ve conducted a market study last year about market perspective for shea in Asia and we’ve realised through this market study that the most important market for shea in Asia are Japan, South Korea, and China.”

The association’s mission is to connect cosmetic brands from Asia Pacific directly with the rural producers of shea butter.

“We want them to be able to connect with the direct producers because there are some companies here, maybe they do not have direct access to the produces. They may go through distributors and that will make the ingredient more expensive,”​ said Dèhouindji.

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