Flower power in the blood: meet Malvin Richard, the leader of the 2nd generation of farfalla
Malvin Richard, farfalla’s CEO
After finishing my master’s degree in Management and having gained some years of experience in the financial industry at PwC, I followed my passion and started the natural perfume venture Labiocos before I joined the farfalla group in 2012. Specialized in natural cosmetics for private labels, Labiocos, which is currently a 100% -owned daughter company of farfalla, gave me the opportunity to earn a deep and hands-on experience in natural cosmetic development, production and distribution. Since 2019, after a careful succession planning, I took over the company leadership from the farfalla founders together with a highly talented and motivated team.
NATRUE: When and how was farfalla created? What are the values of this brand?
Malvin Richard: Four friends, including my parents, founded farfalla in 1982. Their mission was to use plant power to help people feel satisfied and healthy – to achieve health, a balanced mind and natural beauty in harmonious unity with nature. This is well-being in its purest form. As the second farfalla generation, we took over the management in 2019, embracing the philosophy of its founders. In addition to taking care of well-being, organic quality and sustainability are essential for us. The respectful treatment of nature and resources and the trusting, appreciative interaction with local people are at the forefront of our cooperation with plant farmers around the world. The result: raw materials of the best organic quality. farfalla supports organic farmers (for instance, through its project in Madagascar, which supports more than 2,000 small farmers) and rewards those committed with social development: we support cultivation farmers in India and Morocco who strengthen the position of women. We also collaborate with women gatherers who keep alive an old tradition in a structurally weak region in southern France.
NATRUE: Can you tell us a bit more about the “ethnobotanical quest” of farfalla?
Malvin Richard: Already in the early years of the company, the farfalla first generation (which I was already part of as a child) travelled to the origins of essential oils and visited people around the globe who taught them how plants and their application bring body and mind into balance. Meeting with people all over the world showed us how many different ways there are to increase one’s own well-being. Based on this, we have compiled a unique ethnobotanical recipe collection. Our recipes provide inspiration and guidance on how aromatic plants and their products can help people feel satisfied, healthy and naturally beautiful in a personalized way. Even today our products are still inspired by ethnobotany, the science of how people all over the world use the power of plants.
NATRUE: What do you think about Do It Yourself (DIY) in cosmetics?
Malvin Richard: The individual well-being of each person is at the centre of our DNA. Every person, every skin is different – and nature has an active ingredient ready for every need. We share the knowledge to create the individual care that suits each day, be it with simple active ingredient additions to our natural cosmetic lines or by means of genuine DIY recipes for Beauty and AromaCare. And since our plant raw materials are almost all packaged in glass, they can also be used to create almost plastic-free creations and thus save resources.
NATRUE: How is farfalla adapting to the new trends and consumer demands in the natural and organic cosmetics sector?
Malvin Richard: We are working in one of the most dynamic global industries where consumer demands may shift every week, as we are currently experiencing during the coronavirus pandemic. As a PME, it is essential to work closely together with our partners, customers, competitors and other stakeholders to understand these shifts in demands. Through a proactive and passionate team and a deep love for the customer and the products we create, we try our best to address those needs and expectations every day anew.
NATRUE: What role do you think the NATRUE Label plays in the natural and organic cosmetic sector?
Malvin Richard: Since its foundation, NATRUE has facilitated and ensured the credibility of true natural cosmetic products. Additionally, it’s an important platform for natural cosmetic manufacturers to be informed and represent common interests via regulatory bodies. As such we highly appreciate being part of NATRUE and we are proud of being able to show the customers our high-quality products with the NATRUE certification.
For more information about farfalla, visit www.farfalla.ch
Download this interview here.