On the heels of celebrating its 30th anniversary, Fresh is on a mission to up its sustainability game and define long-term goals that will see it through the next decade. Its latest initiative, Forever Fresh, has the brand committing to the farming communities that supply its key ingredients. To help achieve this, Fresh has partnered with UEBT, a non-profit association that promotes ethical sourcing, which will work with the brand on best practices to protect its supplier communities, from people to land.  CEW Beauty News recently spoke with Tennille Kopiasz, CMO of Fresh, to learn more about this partnership and what it means for the brand’s 10-year sustainability goals.

BN: Talk about your partnership with UEBT and how it came to be.
TK: From the beginning, Fresh has been known for ingredients that are at the heart of the brand and its founders. Inspiration comes from traveling the world, discovering new ingredients, and learning about the communities from which these ingredients are sourced. The initiative with UEBT goes after sourcing respect, something that’s very natural to Fresh because the brand is dedicated to people. We’re really looking at making an impact, on both people and the environment from which we source ingredients. We wanted to work with UEBT because their values are the same as Fresh’s core values. We’re aligned in who we are as companies.

BN: How did you select UEBT?
TK: We were looking for someone to help give us credibility and transparency in the sustainability space. There’s a lot of greenwashing out there, and we really wanted to elevate ourselves because we have been doing this for a long time and we wanted to own it. This year is the 30th anniversary for Fresh. We thought it would be a really great opportunity to define our long-term goals for sustainability for the next decade and who we will be at our 40th anniversary. The platform, called Forever Fresh, focuses on working with communities where we source our ingredients. The objective is to improve the sourcing with respect to people, the planet and products, which tie into our focus on climate action and eco packaging. These are not just short-term goals, but also long-term goals. We will start with the communities that supply our hero ingredients.

BN: How do your source ingredients?
TK: We use the LVMH research labs along with our suppliers, both of which have very strict codes of conduct, which is mandated by LVMH, and we regularly conduct deep audits on sourcing. We make sure we are not only following best practices, but that we are functioning with the objective of quality and safety in everything we do. The objective is that we make sure that we’re positively impacting the community for future generations. Our long-term objective is that these ingredients will be in these communities for future generations. The UEBT team takes us to a whole other level from a sourcing perspective. They go to the sourcing location and focus on two areas: respect for the people and respect for the planet in biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. Together we build the action plan. We can’t fix everything overnight, but it’s really building a long-term improvement plan that ultimately positively impacts the community and the planet.

BN: How will Fresh be held accountable?  
TK: It’s about commitment. We’re going to try and cover everything and then put a clear action plan in place. The assessment is step one. We have to put an improvement plan in place, or our membership would be revoked. That’s how they hold us accountable. And that’s why it’s so important that Fresh is taking steps to become a long-term member of the UEBT because they hold you accountable. They teach you how to stay on plan.

BN: It’s an amazing accomplishment to be the first LVMH brand to have this kind of partnership.
TK: Yes, we were the first LVMH brand to become an official member, but we definitely think it’s a fit for other company brands, as well as within the industry, because it’s all about responsibility and transparency, and UEBT really gives credibility. That’s the reason we partnered with them.

BN: How will you communicate your partnership with consumers?
TK: Our consumers are expecting this level of transparency. And for us, it’s about sustainability in general. It’s always been a priority at the heart of the brand. Now people are looking for this information to help shift their purchase decisions. We hope everyone’s going to do that. We’re going to make sure that the consumer knows what we’re doing. It’ll be an open book.