Sustainable ingredients
ethically sourced

We craft our products with love, selecting the finest herbs, botanicals and essentials oils, then maximising their therapeutic benefits at our eco factory in Dorset, England. Discover the incredible stories behind some of our ethically and sustainable ingredients on this map below and find out how they support communities all over the world.

Our ingredient stories

Mexico

Honey

Origin: Mexico

Sourcing Fairtrade, organic honey from Mexico

We source honey from Chiapas, in southern Mexico, where the versatile flora gives this honey its beautifully delicate aroma.

Helping communities

Indigenous farming communities in hard-to access villages sell their honey through an ethical cooperative, ensuring fair trading conditions. It also founded an independent women’s group, to help the women of the native Tzeltal Tzozil people with smallholdings so they can earn their own income.

Hives at the cooperative
“Fair honey trading is very important as it means they are no longer solely reliant on coffee farming. As the honey is certified organic it means that the farmers and the bees are living on land not exposed to synthetic chemicals and so are as healthy as possible, an important part of our campaign to Help Save the Bees.” Susan Curtis, Natural Health Director
at Neal’s Yard Remedies
Australia

Sandalwood

Origin: Australia

Sourcing sustainable Sandalwood from Australia

Renowned for its high quality and wellbeing properties, we source Sandalwood (Santalum album) from Australia. Here, the luxurious essential oil is extracted from trees grown in sustainably managed plantations.

Protecting vulnerable species

Due to its high value and demand, in the past Sandalwood has been exploited to the verge of extinction. After years of searching for a sustainable source, we’re delighted to have secured a sustainable supply of Australian Sandalwood.

Over 10 million trees have been planted at tree nurseries so far.

Rows of sandalwood trees and ‘host’ plants are planted alternatively.
“Taking 15 years or more to reach maturity, Sandalwood is a hemiparasitic tree, meaning that it needs to attach to another plant as a ‘host’ to get the minerals it needs to survive. This, in addition to the traditional value of the tree, have contributed to its rarity. For this reason, we only wanted to stock Australian Sandalwood when we were absolutely sure we’d found a carefully managed plantation source that actually makes a positive contribution to sustainability.” Susan Curtis, Natural Health Director
& Ingredient Pioneer
at Neal’s Yard Remedies
Kenya

Organic avocado oil

Origin: Kenya

Ethically sourced, organic avocado oil from Kenya

We source our organic avocado oil from the Thikia region of the Kenyan highlands, from hundreds of small-scale, family-owned farms.

Helping communities

The avocado growers are spread out throughout the region so, on top of a fair price, each receives an individual share of the Fair Trade Fund payment, both of which help improve the lives of the farmers and their families.

Theresa, avocado farmer

Theresa, one of the avocado growers has had to raise 7 children after her husband died in 1998. From her fair trade premium, Theresa has invested in a water tank and some livestock, and over the next few years her target is to build a new home – and she’s already made a great start!


nealsyardremedies.com

Neal’s Yard Remedies sources through an independent trader and exporter working directly with the producer. We have also visited the project ourselves to build our relationship and better understand people’s needs. Our last visit was in 2013.

Uganda

Organic palmarosa

Origin: Uganda

Over 10 million trees have been planted at tree nurseries so far.
Rows of sandalwood trees and ‘host’ plants are planted alternatively.

Ethically sourced, organic palmarosa from Uganda

We source our organic palmarosa essential oil from a small distillery near Tororo, in eastern Uganda, where this lush grass grows wild.

Helping communities

We’ve worked with a young farmer called Joel to set up a distillery, where he makes organic palmarosa essential oil with crops from local farms, creating valuable employment. We also buy our cleansing organic lemongrass and refreshing organic citronella oil from Joel.

The oils are distilled in a plant designed to minimise environmental impact. The dry grass remnants from the distillation process are pressed into briquettes to fuel the boiler, while solar panels provide electricity.

By contributing to the cost of organic certi cation as well as funding a water well, we are actively promoting sustainable practices and supporting local communities.

“Getting a fair and reliable price for our lemongrass essential oil has provided a much needed cash income for many families in our community.” Joel, Distillation owner

nealsyardremedies.com

Neal’s Yard Remedies sources through an independent trader and exporter working directly with the producer. We have also visited the project ourselves to build our relationship and better understand people’s needs. Our last visit was in 2017.

Nepal

Organic chiuri butter

Origin: Nepal

Ethically sourced, organic chiuri butter from Nepal

Our organic chiuri butter comes from the Surkhet Valley of southwest Nepal, and is a great ethical and sustainable natural alternative to palm oil.

Helping communities

Around 60 women from the village of Nayapanizufa harvest fruit from the chiuri trees. Gently shaking the tree allows them to pick the fallen fruit from the ground. Collecting around 5kg each a day, they take them home to remove the flesh and dry the seeds. After taking the seeds to a local co-operative, the women are paid a fair price and the seeds are traditionally pressed to extract the butter.

Mandari Garanja, Chairperson of the collectors group
“With money often hard to come by, the cash income the women get from the co-operative is important for the whole family. Paid a fair price for the amount of seeds collected, they use this income to buy food and clothes. From the discarded fruit, they make a local liquor, ‘Chiuri rakshi’ which they can also sell” Susan Curtis, Natural Health Director
& Ingredient Pioneer
at Neal’s Yard Remedies
Oman

Frankincense

Origin: Oman

Frankincense from Oman

Collectors hand-harvesting frankincense resin.

We source our pure essential oil from the Dhofar region Oman, the cultural home of the finest frankincense.

Helping communities

During harvesting season, around 20 experienced collectors make small cuts in the bark of Boswellia sacra trees using traditional tools. A milky liquid oozes out and is left to harden in the sun. After about 14 days, the collectors return and slice off the resin. These ‘pearls’ are taken to a local distillery where they’re steamed to extract the precious oil.

“There’s a growing sustainability movement in Oman, working to combat unstainable practices that mean that many frankincense trees are in danger of dying out. We’re proud to only use the most sustainably sourced frankincense while supporting local collectors at the same time.” Susan Curtis, Natural Health Director
& Ingredient Pioneer
at Neal’s Yard Remedies
Spain

Organic bee pollen

Origin: Spain

Sourcing organic bee pollen from Spain

Hives in the Spanish mountains.
Courel and Ancares mountains.

Our organic been pollen comes from a family company in Galicia, who have been keeping bees since the 1980s in the rugged Courel and Ancares mountains.

Helping communities

The bees work at more than 500m above sea level, producing high quality mountain honey. They forage on the diverse mountain flora, including chestnut, oak, heathers, and blackberry bushes. The bee pollen consists of tiny granules from the anther of the flower, formed by the bees into spheres. The variation in colour between the granules is due to these various plant origins, producing an exquisite combination of white, black, yellow, orange, red, green and violet hues.

DRC
Morocco
Kenya

Ingredients | 10 ingredients we avoid & why

  1. We follow the Precautionary Principle and don’t use any ingredients we believe could cause you or the planet harm. This is why we avoid using the following:

  2. 1. MEA/DEA derivatives

    A type of surfactant used to produce a foaming effect, these derivatives are associated with known carcinogens. Look out for Cocamide DEA, Lauramide MEA, Linolemide DEA and Oleamide DEA when buying hand wash, shampoo and shower gel.

  3. 2. EDTA

    A powerful metal ion chelator that strips impurities from products and balances the formulation to help prevent it from spoiling. As they don’t biodegrade readily, we use biodegradable alternatives with a similar effect. Look out for EDTA on ingredient lists.

  4. 3. Parabens

    Synthetic preservatives used in cosmetics, many have had concerns raised over their safety and estrogen-like activity. Look out for words ending in ‘paraben’, such as ‘methylparaben’ on ingredient lists.

  5. 4. Phthalates

    Used as a plasticiser to create flexibility in hair sprays and nail varnishes or as a solvent to stabilise the fragrance of a product, some phthalates are very toxic and have been banned from EU products. We’ve decided to ‘ban’ them all, just in case. Look out for Dimethyl Phthalate and Diethyl Phthalate to avoid phthalates.

  1. 5. Silicones

    These synthetically produced emollients are often used in haircare and skincare products to create a smooth texture. To mimic the effect we use vegetable oils, butters and waxes instead. Look out for words ending in ‘-thicone’ and ‘-oxane’, to avoid silicones.

  2. 6. Genetically Modified ingredients

    Not enough is known about the long-term implications. Many GM ingredients are designed to withstand high levels of pesticides, but we prefer to support organic farming, avoiding agrochemical traces and protecting wildlife. Look out for GM-free products.

  3. 7. Synthetic fragrances

    Often hidden under the term ‘Parfum’ or ‘Fragrance’ on ingredients lists, some synthetic fragrances can trigger allergies and asthma. We use 100% pure essential oils to naturally fragrance our beauty products. Instead of listing our essential oils collectively as a ‘blend’, we choose to list them individually to show they’re all natural oils.

  4. 8. BHT

    This petroleum derived ingredient is used to prevent products from oxidising. There are scientific debates with uncertain conclusions around its safety and possible link as a potential carcinogen. It’s also toxic to the aquatic environment. Instead, we use vitamin-rich ingredients to create a similar antioxidant effect. Look out for BHT on ingredient lists.

  1. 9. Mineral oil

    Often found in baby oils and balms, mineral oil is derived from petroleum – a non-renewable resource from a pollutingindustry. Our baby products contain a nourishing sunflower oil base instead. Look out for Paraffinum Liquidum and Petrolatum to avoid mineral oil.

  2. 10. Triclosan

    An antimicrobial and antifungal preservative often used in deodorants/antiperspirants, mouthwashes and toothpaste. Some research indicates it may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. We use vegetable derived ingredients instead,such as cleansing shikimic acid in ourroll on deodorants. Look out for Triclosan on ingredient lists.