|Products||Cleansers, moisturizers, sunscreens, exfoliant, nutritional supplements|
|Areas Served||Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Poland, United Kingdom, United States of America|
Arbonne International, LLC, known as Arbonne is an international multi-level marketing (MLM) company founded in 1980 in the United States by Norwegian entrepreneur Petter Mørck. Its product lines include vegan skincare, cosmetics, and nutrition. The company had an estimated annual sales revenue of $544 million in 2017. Arbonne's CEO is Jean-David Schwartz. Lawsuits have been filed concerning discrimination and, in another case, of being a pyramid scheme.
Founded in Orem, Utah, by Mørck in 1980, Arbonne is named after a village in Switzerland, called Arbon. Mørck had worked in the Norwegian skincare industry from 1965. In 1975, feeling the ingredients used were harmful to the skin, he moved to Arbon, Switzerland. Here he started working on his skincare line with Pierre Bottiglieri, an employee of Laboratoires Cosmetiques Arval. According to the history published by Arbonne, Bottiglieri and Mørck worked together to create a line of products using no petroleum or animal products. In another version of their history, Mørck purchased the formulations from Laboratoires Cosmetiques Arval, which sold formulations for rebranding.
The first headquarters were located in Orem, Utah, moving to Irvine in 1984. Mørck was active in the company until his death in 2008. His son, Stian Mørck, is currently Brand Ambassador. Rita Davenport became the company's first President from 1991 to 2011. Arbonne became a subsidiary of Levlad, Inc., which became the main manufacturer of Arbonne products around 2004. In 2005, both companies were acquired by Harvest Partners, which dubbed the new acquisition Natural Products Group, LLC. In February 2018, Groupe Rocher, Paris, agreed to acquire Arbonne International and Nature's Gate from Natural Products Group.
The company made $200 million in sales in 2004. In 2005 there were 434,000 independent consultants, increasing to 612,000 in 2006. In 2006, Arbonne established distribution centers in Greenwood, Indiana, and near Calgary, Alberta. This was in addition to an existing distribution center in Mississauga, Ontario. Between 2007 and 2009, the number of the company's consultants fell from 1.3 million to under 800,000. In January 2010, Natural Products Group LLC filed for bankruptcy protection in order to reduce company debts. Harvest Partners were no longer involved, with Arbonne's new ownership being a combination of banks and private equity firms.
In 2012, The Arbonne Charitable Foundation was registered as a charity to support programs to help teenagers build and increase their self-confidence.
In 2006, Arbonne opened for business in Canada, then Australia in 2007, and the United Kingdom in 2008. In 2014, the company launched Arbonne Poland, and then both New Zealand and Taiwan in 2016.
The company describes its products and formulation philosophy with its trademark advertising line: pure, safe, beneficial. Some certifications applied to its products are vegan, gluten-free, kosher, cruelty-free, BSCG-certified, and Informed-Sport listed.
In 2014, the company published an Ingredient Guide online. Arbonne also maintains a list online of ingredients that it won't use in products. This list includes ingredients identified by the European Union and the USFDA as harmful, questionable, or prohibited.
Products are formulated at the Arbonne Institute of Research and Development (AIRD) in Switzerland and produced in the United States. A 2006 article in The Virginian-Pilot highlighted questions about whether AIRD not having their own facilities was proper and noted that chemist Pierre Bottiglieri might have worked for multiple companies besides Arbonne. Bloomberg.com lists no address for the AIRD.
Arbonne is structured on a direct selling business model (also known as network marketing or multi-level marketing). The products are sold via home-based businesses owned and
operated by independent consultants. Independent consultants are not employees and are viewed differently by the United States Internal Revenue Service. Arbonne is a member of the Direct Selling Association.
A charitable non-profit foundation organized under the laws of the State of California, Arbonne Charitable Foundation. was established in 2012 The Foundation has charitable status within the U.S., Canada, Australia and the UK. The foundation's mission is to provide support for programs and opportunities which promote the development of confidence and self-esteem in teenage girls and boys.
In November 2009, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana ruled that Arbonne International LLC violated federal law. The company refused to employ Lisa Wilson on the grounds of her disability (deafness). Arbonne paid a US $30,000 settlement to Wilson and was required to institute non-discrimination policies and training.
In May 2017, Cynthia and Michael Dagnall raised a lawsuit against Arbonne in the Orange County Superior Court. They alleged that the company was an illegal pyramid scheme. The company settled with the plaintiffs to end the lawsuit in 2018.
In January 2009, Arbonne voluntarily recalled some production lots of branded peanut butter cups. This was due to the risk of possible Salmonella serotype Typhimurium contamination of peanut-based products consigned from a Georgia processing plant.
In January 2013, Health Canada advised of Arbonne's voluntary recall of one batch of branded facial moisturizer for men. Arbonne's testing found that the batch contained the bacterium Aerococcus viridans.
In June 2016, Arbonne voluntarily recalled multiple lots of branded liquid eye liner. The products contained unacceptable levels of the bacteria Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Staphylococcus xylosus, and Staphylococcus lentus.
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