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Colombian President Visits Glasgow’s Soapworks

by jcp

4 November 2021

On 3rd November 2021, the President of Colombia, Iván Duque, Colombian Ambassador in the UK, Antonia Jose Ardila and Colin Martin-Reynolds, Colombian Ambassador for the UK visited the Glasgow headquarters of Soapworks, the UK’s leading manufacturer of soaps and cleansing bars.

President Duque is in Glasgow for COP26, and visited Soapworks to celebrate the company’s strong links with Colombia, its investment in sustainable manufacturing and use of certified sustainable Colombian palm oil.

Soapworks is part of the Colombian owned Daabon Group, who are global leaders in the supply of organic, certified sustainable palm oil. In addition to soap, Soapworks manufactures sustainable solid format haircare and facial cleansing bars – supplying to many of the world’s leading beauty brands.

President Duque, Ambassador Antonia Jose Ardila and Ambassador Colin Martin-Reynolds visited the Soapworks headquarters in Easterhouse together with representatives from Daabon Europe and Daabon Colombia, including CEO, Manuel Davila.

The large delegation also included senior representatives from the Colombian Embassy who were shown round the factory to see first-hand how responsibly sourced Colombian palm oil is being used to improve the sustainability credentials of the beauty and personal care sector.

Following the tour, the President cut the ribbon on new manufacturing machinery that will enable Soapworks to expand production, innovate new sustainable products and provide 100% plastic-free and recyclable packaging for customers worldwide.

The visit finished with a presentation about Soapworks and its vertically integrated supply chain – showcasing the traceability and sustainability of its Colombian RSPO certified palm oil, and the journey it takes from soil to market.

Jan Wels, Managing Director at Soapworks, said:

“It was a huge honour to welcome President Duque to Soapworks and showcase how we’re using Daabon’s responsibly sourced palm to create exciting, sustainable bar soap and personal care products that not only work – but are kinder to the planet.”

Manuel Davila, CEO of Daabon said:

“The day was a great reminder that despite being oceans apart, Colombia and Scotland remain united by the same sustainable goals, and a showcase of how we can work together to produce a new generation of solutions that look to lower our carbon footprint and help protect our environment.

“The partnership between Daabon and Soapworks is the perfect example of a vertically integrated supply chain delivering real benefits from soil to market. The result is sustainable products, traceable right back to the raw materials, made ethically for the benefit of people and planet.”

The visit follows a promise made by more than 100 leaders at COP26, including President Duque, to end and reverse deforestation by 2030.

As part of its ongoing programme of sustainable development, the Daabon Group has invested heavily in advanced new plant machinery at the Soapworks factory in Glasgow.

This includes a brand-new synthetic bar production line for facial cleansing bars and solid format hair care and the purchase of an industry leading pilot innovation line for new product development.

This significant investment program is part of a wider campaign to improve the sustainability of the beauty industry, as Soapworks supports the growing trend of consumers and brands going “back to bar” – switching from liquid based personal care to solid format to help eliminate unnecessary plastic and cut waste.

Last month, the company unveiled “Coastal Shores” – a sustainable soap inspired by the essence of the Scottish coastline, to celebrate COP26.

The vegan soap used organic, 100% certified sustainable palm oil from DAABON, and was packaged in FSC approved, compostable and recyclable packaging. Designed as a blueprint for the beauty industry to follow, it was distributed for free to key delegates at COP26, local stakeholders, industry influencers and beauty brands across the UK to promote the goals of COP26.

Founded in 1988 by Body Shop entrepreneur, Dame Anita Roddick, Soapworks’ award-winning team works with customers across the globe, supplying a wide range of businesses from luxurious and sustainable brands through to high-volume retail and FMCG.

The company uses its products to inspire social and sustainable change. In 2020, Soapworks donated more than 500,000 repurposed soap bars to help fight covid, and to support vulnerable communities and refugees in countries affected by war, disease, natural disasters and acute deprivation.

Additional information about Soapworks can be found at https://www.soapworksltd.co.uk/.

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