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Somaliland NGO exports to Body Shop

A local Somaliland NGO, Candlelight, has become the supplier of henna to UK-based Body Shop International, an ethical trading company specialising in body and skin care products.

Candlelight, sister organisation to Asli Grinding Mills, received start-up support from the Danish Refugee Council, and Progressive Interventions,(Pi) an Irish NGO.

Pi provided technical assistance to establish local and overseas market links.

Somalia's business "buysomali" website said since January 2000 Alsi Grinding Mills, through Candlelight, supplied 4.62 tons of red henna powder to the Body Shop, and that approximately 70 new jobs had been created to date by the new business.

Many of the beneficiaries are women pastoralists and nomads who now earn incomes by collecting henna leaf for grinding.

According to the the "buysomali" website, henna powder is primarily imported from Yemen and Ethiopia despite "the abundance of henna trees in Somaliland".

UNDP said it supported the venture by offering transport for Body Shop representatives to Hargeisa.

According to UNDP, Candlelight hopes to expand production further with the assistance of the European Commission-funded Marketing Assistance Product Promotion project, being implemented by Pi.




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