New Business born out of Co-op

Nicole Botica is leaving the Chair position of the Co-op to follower her passion into hemp cosmetics and natural beauty products.

Outgoing Chair Nicole Botica, is fulfilling a lifelong dream to create her own brand of natural skincare using Australian Hemp seed oil.  Her soap making business, Soap Suds & Oils of Margaret River, has evolved since 2018 adding three new body products to the collection. Through encouragement and support from the HempGro board and its members, she has been able to launch a new look Website. 
“Access to quality local ingredients has enabled my business to advance and brand products that I am confident will bring amazing benefits to the skin,” she said. Nicole brings together her knowledge of natural ingredients and her vast understanding of the benefits of hemp seed oil in the cosmetics industry. 
The inspiration to establish a Hemp farmers’ co-operative was seeded in the 1990’s through her journey working in the cosmetic industry for a leading brand in sustainable business practices and pioneer campaigner for change in the cosmetic industry spruiking Against Animal Testing messages to the mainstream audience. While working for the Body Shop Australia, Nicole was educated in co-operative business practices and set her sights on establishing a hemp business in Australia to educate farmers on the growing opportunities with potential for new markets. It look 20 years for her to find her people.
The WA Hemp Growers Co-op, HempGro, has enabled Nicole to source local hemp seed oil from Vasse Valley Farm as well as the root of the hemp plant from Hemp Co-op members within the South West, making her product range unique and luxurious. 
During the past three years whilst on the Co-op board she has had the opportunity to grow her business and participate in developing the WA Hemp industry. “We have all worked hard, collectively to establish an industry for WA Hemp farmers and there is still a long way to go in building up the industry in WA,” she said.
The Co-op’s core business is supporting licenced hemp growers to access quality seed varieties that perform well in dry land conditions. “I am proud to have worked with the board on developing this strategy.” 
Whilst Nicole has been Proxy in the position, her passion for the industry development and sustainable business practices have been instrumental in the establishment of the co-operative. The only missing link is access to reliable processing machines to enter new markets in food, fibre and oil. The next phase will need business leadership to seek investment in processing and establish hemp hubs for members in our diverse regions.
Nicole will remain on the board as an independent member and encourages existing and new members to consider vacant positions on the board at the coming AGM in Oct 2021 , which is planned for Denmark in the Great Southern, more details are to come.
You can find out more about Nicole’s skin care range at www.soapsud.com.au
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Published Jul 23, 2021

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