Dr. Bronnerís Magic Soaps announced that the company has reached a milestone in its goal to use 95 percent raw materials that are both organic and fair trade certified. In February the company received shipment of its first order of 80 metric tons of organic olive oil from the Holy Land, where olive trees have flourished without pesticides since biblical times. Dr. Bronner's set its 95 percent organic and fair trade goal in 2005, with a plan to meet it by mid-2007. The olive oil will be included in Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps by this summer.
The fact that the olive oil comes from the Holy Land is noteworthy. "Blending olive oil from Palestine and Israel is a symbolic but significant contribution to promoting the concept of coexistence and cooperation in this area," stated Dr. Gero Leson, director of special operations for Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps.
Dr. Leson hopes that his company's support of trade equality and organic farming will encourage other companies to "look at their supply chain in a holistic way." Companies -- and consumers -- who buy fair trade products empower workers across the globe to be economically self-sufficient.
Fair trade is acknowledged as an important step toward creating a peaceful world. Sindyanna of Galilee, a fair trade cooperative run by women, will provide about 5 percent of the olive oil to Dr. Bronner's. Hadass Lahav of Sindyanna points out that "peace cannot prevail without economic solutions."
The olive branch has long been recognized as a symbol of peace, while the oil from the tree's fruit has for many centuries been used for cooking, lamp oil and soap making. "The importance and antiquity of olive oil can be seen in the fact that the word 'oil' actually derives from the same root as 'olive,'" according to the Random House Unabridged Dictionary (cited on Wikipedia).
Today, the majority of soaps available to consumers are not soap at all, but actually detergents that are made with petroleum-based chemicals. All of Dr. Bronner's soap products are 100 percent pure with no chemicals added.