Neal's Yard Remedies
Neal's Yard Remedies is a UK-based retail and multi-level marketing company that sells cosmetics, skin care products, and essential oils. The direct selling arm is branded NYR Organics. The company was founded in 1981 in Covent Garden, London.
The first Neal's Yard Remedies shop, was opened in 1981 by Romy Fraser in Neal's Yard in Covent Garden offering dried herbs, homoeopathic products, essential oils, Bach flower remedies, and a similar range of toiletries. In 2005, Fraser sold the business to Peter Kindersley, a former publisher and the owner of Sheepdrove Organic Farm. The same year, the company moved its head office from South London to a new factory facility at Peacemarsh, near Gillingham, Dorset, which employed 222 people in 2018. In April 2009, the company launched their direct selling arm, NYR Organics which constituted 25% of sales by 2011. It had 5,000 sellers in the UK by 2013 and expanded operations to Ireland. As of 2013, the company had 60 retail stores internationally. By its own account, most of its company's sales in 2018 were to buyers in Asia and the United States.
Neal's Yard Remedies is co-owned by Peter, Barnabas, and Anabel Kindersley. Denise Bonner serves as global head of NYR Organic. From 2000 to 2014, Dragana Vilinac, originally from Sarajevo, was connected with the company, initially as a consultant and then as its head herbalist.
Disputed health benefits of products
In April 2008, the BBC reported on the company's claims the homoeopathic preparations they offer can help to prevent and treat serious fatal diseases such as malaria. It was reported that this practice was "highly dangerous and it puts people's lives at risk." Later in the year, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said that the product "Malaria Officinalis 30c" was "clearly intended to be viewed as a treatment or preventive" and the company's actions were "potentially harmful to public health and misleading", and ordered that the product be withdrawn from sale; Neal's Yard acknowledged there was no proof the product worked and withdrew it from sale on 17 April 2008.
In May 2009 The Guardian's Ethical Living blog invited Neal's Yard Remedies to participate in an installment of the "You Ask, They Answer" online discussion series, and received assurance from the company of their willingness to participate. A later posting from a Guardian editor stated that Neal's Yard was "working on replies". Following the posting of questions about the efficacy of their remedies, and comments of a sceptical nature towards Neal's Yard alternative medicines, the company declined to participate in the discussion, and the thread was closed. The refusal of Neal's Yard Remedies to answer any of the questions was criticised by public relations experts.
In October 2013, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued an import alert regarding the barring of shipments of the company’s Cocoa Eye Shadow from entry into the U.S. due to microbiological contamination.
In March 2018, Neal's Yard Remedies was notified that their products Covent Garden Superfood Organic Greens Complex and Covent Garden Superfood Organic Cocoa Blend violated the California Health & Safety Code (Proposition 65) because the company had failed to provide required warnings that the products contained lead and cadmium, respectively, and thereby posed a potential health risk to consumers. In July 2018, the company was ordered to pay a settlement of $27,000.
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Neal's Yard Remedies, the UK-based organic skincare range that began supplementing its shops and online distribution with direct sales called NYR Organics in April 2009, garnered 18 per cent of group sales through direct channels in 2010 and a quarter of sales in 2011
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