Chemical company Solvay has expanded a project that has been designed to ensure that the raw materials it uses come from sustainable sources.
The company is teaming up with global business Henkel in the Sustainable Guar Initiative to help more than double the number of Indian farmers involved in the project to 6,500 by 2020.
The initiative, which is run by non-profit organization TechnoServe, teaches and promotes sustainable agricultural practices among 3,000 guar bean farmers across twenty villages in the desert region of Bikaner, Rajasthan.
Solvay is interested in the project because it is the world leader in guar derivatives used in home and personal care and other applications.
The company initiated the project in 2015 and Emmanuel Butstraen, President of Solvay’s Novecare Global Business Unit, said the link-up with Henkel would allow it to expand.
He said: “Solvay welcomes Henkel as its partner to build on the success of this project, which improves the daily lives of the farmers and families while also benefiting various industrial uses.
“With this programme, we aim to generate a long-term sustainable, fair and transparent value chain, from the guar farmer up to our most engaged customers,”
Thomas Foerster, Corporate Vice President R&D Henkel Beauty Care, said: “At Henkel, we recognise our responsibilities regarding ingredients based on renewable raw materials that we use in our products.
“We want to drive sustainability on the ground by teaming up with partners like Solvay and TechnoServe to directly support guar bean farmers in India.
“By empowering farmers and promoting sustainable farming methods, we aim to increase the global supply of sustainably-cultivated guar while also improving living and working conditions.”
William Warshauer, President and CEO of TechnoServe, said: “Guar is a critical income source of income for farmers in this area of India and learning sustainable agronomic techniques greatly enhances their livelihoods and the well-being of their families.
“These kinds of projects, which engage forward-thinking companies like Solvay and Henkel, are essential to sustainable development and are core to TechnoServe’s work worldwide.”
Solvay is a specialty chemical company, with its headquarters in Brussels and employs 27,000 employees in 58 countries.