The Philippines, like many developing nations, is rich in agricultural products, yet many of its farmers are poor, with an average daily wage of Php156.80 (roughly US$ 3.41), according to the National Statistical Coordination Board of the Philippines. As long as these small farmers mostly grow rice, they will always be poor. Human Nature aims to help change this by creating demand for high value essential oils instead, as well as programs that invest in skills training, sustainable technology, infrastructure, and values formation to improve the farmers' output and quality of life.
As firm believers in fair trade principles, we offer to buy at just and fair prices from our community-based suppliers, sometimes even above market prices if the market price is not enough to provide a good quality of life for the farmers. Having good business sense isn't only about getting a bargain for our raw materials; it's about ensuring that our suppliers, especially the community-based cooperatives, receive just prices for their products, too.
Through our partnerships with Gawad Kalinga and other organizations who share the same vision, we aim to develop globally-certified organic farms in the countryside that can produce excellent raw materials for Human Nature products, as well as community-based enterprises that will multiply the income of poor communities.
Gawad Kalinga (GK) is recognized as a global Filipino movement for nation-building, from Harvard University to the National Institute of Education in Singapore. Together with its founder, Tony Meloto, Gawad Kalinga has been given worldwide recognition for its initiatives; among them the Magsaysay Award, Asia's Nobel Prize, Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, Nikkei Asia Awards for Regional Growth and the Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Gawad Kalinga envisions an end to poverty for 5 million Filipino families by year 2024 through their 3-phase development model: Social Justice, Social Artistry and Social Transformation.
Phase 1, Social Justice, has already built more than 80,000 homes, rehousing around 400,000 Filipinos from slums in beautiful, peaceful communities.
GK is now into Phase 2, Social Artistry. The goal of this phase is to empower the powerless for self-governance, self-reliance, and self-sufficiency. The third phase, Social Transformation, is about achieving scale and sustainability by developing the grassroots economy and expanding the influence of GK to 5 million families, with the support of key sectors in society in the Philippines and partners abroad. Human Nature's role and vision is part of Phase 2; as soon as GK farming villages are capable of producing our ingredients to the highest standards, we equip and empower them to grow and process what we need for Human Nature products.
In the pursuit of helping communities yield more income, Human Nature strengthens its Social Enterprise Development efforts through quality household products and functional gifts created by Gawad Kalinga residents. Today, we have a wide selection of items from mugs, totes, and toys. We are also proud partners of makers of food that are so good and natural they please the taste buds and not just patriotic hearts. Soon we will be sharing our social enterprise partners' high quality coffee, peanut butter, coco nectar, and iced tea with the world.
Human Nature employs Gawad Kalinga community residents and provides fair living wages, around 70% more than the Metro Manila daily minimum wage of roughly US$ 10 required by Philippine law. We also make sure to provide our warehouse staff, merchandisers, and manufacturing plant personnel with regularized employment with full benefits instead of the usual 5-month contracts (without any benefits) which millions of Filipinos suffer through. Lastly, we also advocate a no firing policy. We know that many of our people from poor backgrounds who have not had the benefit of good education will make mistakes, but those mistakes will not make us give up on them. As employers, our role is to be good stewards of our employees and help them become the best that they can be.
. Many of our warehouse employees are GK leaders who spearhead projects in their respective GK communities. Because we don't want their jobs at Human Nature to take away all their time devoted to serving their community, Human Nature implemented a rule that they may take half a day per week off (paid) to serve in their communities, as long as they counterpart it with another half a day of their own time.
We hope that soon there will be hundreds of community organic farms and world-class social enterprises in the Philippines providing livelihood for thousands. As we help create the market for their products, we believe we can help them rise out of poverty and into a first-world quality of life. Beyond that, we hope these radical employment practices will embolden other employers in developing countries to see that it is possible to build a thriving business which also is mindful of the need of the poor.
Several of our products have been certified with the NPA Natural Seal which demonstrates compliance with the NPA Standard for Personal Care Products on natural ingredients, safety, responsibility and sustainability. For more information, visit their website at www.npainfo.org.
In 2011, PETA Asia-Pacific, an affiliate of PETA USA, the world's largest animal rights organization, awarded Human Nature with a "Cruelty-Free" certificate in recognition of our policy against animal testing and our focus on environmental stewardship - the first certification in cosmetics and personal care in the Philippines.
Here at Human Nature, we take our responsibility of being nature's stewards very seriously. We carefully deliberate the impact of all our business decisions on the environment. For example, our Natural Care Labs thoroughly research all our raw materials to ensure that they are naturally derived, biodegradable, are not processed using environmentally toxic processes and are not harmful to our ecosystems when released into the environment after you're finished with the product or wash it off.
What happens to that chemical shampoo you're using when you rinse it off your hair in the shower? That's right, it goes straight into the waterways and damages the environment. With Human Nature, you can be sure that what you're using has been carefully formulated to be safe for our planet. As a member of the Natural Products Association (NPA), the world's largest nonprofit dedicated to natural manufacturing, we adhere strictly to its environmental and safety principles.
Human Nature also partners with the City Optimized Managed Electric Transport (COMET) to help Metro Manila’s traffic and pollution problem by bringing sustainable, efficient and affordable green transportation to city commuters. Running solely on electricity, it helps minimize ozone-depleting carbon dioxide from burning diesel.
We hope that when you use our products, you find a sense of peace and purpose knowing that your everyday choices help the poor and our planet.