What would you like to read about? Pick one of our topics.

Enabling development

Paulina Campos, member of the marketing and sales team (bottom left) and Ralf Kunert, Managing Director of naturamus (centre), visiting its cultivation partner in India.
Photo: naturamus

naturamus is a pioneer in the field of raw materials for cosmetics and foodstuffs. It produces, refines and distributes organic and socially sustainable oils, waxes, essential oils, hydrolates and wild-harvested plants. All its products have a positive impact on the entire supply chain: socially, environmentally and economically.

Growing together

What does this actually mean? naturamus promotes independent partnerships to create new sales opportunities and make these precious raw materials available beyond WALA. Its partners’ further development and joint growth are always in the spotlight. ‘Even during my time at WALA, we established long-term partnerships from which we and our partners alike still benefit from today,’ reports Ralf Kunert, Managing Director of naturamus. The company originally consisted of just fifteen employees. Nowadays, almost forty people work here, with six people employed in sales alone to open up further sales opportunities for partners and tap into additional markets.

Independent from the start

The company is based in Aichelberg, just a 10-minute drive from WALA. From here, it distributes raw materials all over the world. ‘In addition to supplying WALA, we also provide goods for other customers. This was essential for us right from the start, as we are so independent,’ adds Kunert. In addition to sales, the company’s own production represents an important pillar: part of the reason behind the company’s establishment was so it could produce oil at its own oil factory. Today, up to 300 tonnes of seeds and nuts are processed into oil here.

Oils are pressed gently and efficiently at naturamus’ organic and Demeter-certified oil factory.
Photo: WALA

Quality over quantity

Kunert was formerly Head of Raw Materials Purchasing at WALA, which means he’s known the market for a long time. For him, the maxim of ‘quality over quantity’ applies not only to raw materials, but also to cooperation. ‘Our unique selling point is that we’re bringing organic raw materials, or even products that comply with the stricter Demeter quality standards, to market for the first time. They include the first organic wool wax from Patagonia.’ This was the result of seven years of development work and a great deal of passion for the cause. Both sides are also focused on transparency. As Maximo Gallia, board member at Fuhrmann Argentina, reports: ‘We’re particularly enthusiastic about our partnership in terms of the process transparency and financial transparency on both sides.’

Fair for all, Fair for Life

naturamus has been ‘Fair for Life’-certified for seven years. This independent accreditation confirms the existence of fair trade practices across all its supply chains and its social commitment to partner companies. This is the case in India, too, for example. Satvik, a local NGO there, worked with WALA and the castor oil manufacturer Castor Products Company (CPC) to set up the first certified organic farms for this valuable commodity. Satvik is also involved in social projects on the ground. WALA has been working with CPC since 2007, before naturamus was founded. Organic and ‘Fair for Life’ castor oil, organic mango seeds and organic mango pulp are sourced from this raw material partnership. Some of the partners themselves are driving the switch, as well. They includes LIMBUA, a long-standing partner from Kenya, which has now trained and certified the first 200 of its 7,000-plus small farmers in Demeter approaches. ‘naturamus is a reliable partner who supports us to make the most of development opportunities,’ says Matti Spieker, founder of LIMBUA.

In addition to plant-based raw materials, the company also sources animal-based raw materials: wool wax from organically reared sheep, traceable back to the organic farms in question.
Photo: Fuhrmann Argentina/naturamus
Satvik, a local NGO, worked with WALA and the castor oil manufacturer Castor Products Company (CPC) to launch the first certified organic castor oil plantation.
Photo: WALA
naturamus visits LIMBUA in Kenya. Personal interaction is particularly important to the company.
Photo: naturamus

When crises turn into opportunities

Pandemics and wars highlight how fragile certain supply chains are. ‘We have a clear advantage here: as we source the raw materials directly from our partners and not from intermediaries, our supply chains are more stable,’ says Kunert. Another advantage: naturamus is also on a good footing in terms of the German Supply Chain Duty of Care Act (Gesetz über die unternehmerischen Sorgfaltspflichten in Lieferketten, LkSG). This is because direct contact ensures maximum transparency in terms of traceability. ‘Even if it costs a little more in the end, these partnerships are valuable in the long run.’ Customers’ growing desire for transparency shows that naturamus’ concept is on the right track: ‘This is definitely an opportunity for us. Large manufacturers are now approaching us because we can offer high quality standards combined with socially appropriate working conditions. This represents another lever for fair-trade raw materials procurement,’ says Paulina Campos, member of the marketing and sales team at naturamus. ‘We don’t just work this way because legislators expect us to, but out of conviction: we want to see a long-term impact on society and enabling development.’