The Body Shop has always promoted itself as an ethical cosmetics company and has made it a clear company policy to oppose all forms of animal testing, even before it was outlawed by the European Union and other global regulation authorities.
The Body Shop has not operated in mainland China during the past year, following regulations that were introduced stipulating that cosmetic and personal care products would have to be tested on animals to fulfill regulation requirements.
The Body Shop pulls out of China's main retail channels
The company decided that to continue to market and sell its products in the country would go against the fact that its portfolio of brands are marketed and sold world-wide as cruelty-free products, taking the decision to pull out of all retail channels.
With the China market currently valued in excess of $30 billion, and still projected for huge growth in the coming years, it is a brave move for the growing number of cosmetics companies who have pulled out of the market, citing ethical grounds relating to the requirements for animal testing.
However, Choice said its research work in China had revealed that Body Shop products were available in two separate airports, an allegation that has since been confirmed by the cosmetics player.
Body Shop claims duty-free is not 'in-country'
But despite the confession, a number of key executives in the company, including the Australian executive chairman Graeme Wise, have continued to reject any allegations that any of its products have ever been tested on animals in China.
"Duty Free is not designated as in-country because products are not required to be tested on animals," Wise told The Sydney Morning Herald.
According to Choice the fact that the company’s products were on sale in China meant that they came under regulations governing the sale of cosmetics in the country, which meant a ‘definite risk’ that they had been tested on animals.
Whereas China regulations stipulate that all cosmetics products must be tested on animals when sold in regular retail channels, for duty free shopping Choice state that the regulation is still upheld intermittently.