Sustainable Cosmetics Summits Highlight Key
The Sustainable Cosmetics Summit drew to a
successful close a few weeks ago, with the European edition (Nov
24-26th) following the Asia-Pacific (Nov 10-11th) and Latin American
The summits discussed some of the key sustainability challenges facing
the cosmetic & personal care industry: approaches to tackling
sustainability, traceability in supply chains, moving towards renewable
materials, marketing communications, and engaging with consumers.
The European and Latin American editions gave case studies on how large
multinationals are tackling sustainability. Alexandra Palt, CSR and
sustainability director of L’Oreal, said the company is integrating
sustainability into various departments so all new products have a
beneficial environmental or social impact. According to Palt, a big
challenge for L’Oreal is to create zero-waste systems. Ewerton Nunes of
Johnson & Johnson said social aspects - such as the health of its
customers and employees – were of paramount importance to the company.
It has introduced global metrics to measure improvements in these areas.
The importance of raw material traceability was covered in the
Asia-Pacific and Latin American editions. Using tea tree oil as an
example, Jerome Chophard gave details of the growing incidence of
adulteration and mislabelling of natural ingredients. Apart from the
economic harm to legitimate producers, Chophard said fraud also brings
environmental and health risks. Herve Fretay from Givaudan encouraged
ingredient firms to ‘invest in their supply chains’ to guarantee supply
of natural ingredients. Fretay gave details of Givaudan’s Venezuala
sourcing project which is preserving 148,000 hectares of the Amazon to
secure tonka beans for its fragrances.
There was much debate about sources and application of natural
ingredients in personal care formulations. With new technologies
allowing green materials to be produced in refineries, a frequent
question was ‘what constitutes a natural ingredient?’ According to
Phyture Biotech, plant cell technology is the way forward as it enables
agricultural land to be freed for food production. Other companies, such
as Naturex and Beraca, believe companies should make a difference by
working with indigenous communities. Anthony Verdugo from Naturex showed
how the company is working with local tribes in Cameroon to preserve
endangered maobi trees. Asia Plantation Capital gave details of its Agar
wood reforestation projects, whilst Keracol highlighted the innovation
possibilities offered by food waste.
Retailers also shared their experiences with sustainability. The
Brazilian company Grupo Boticario has put sales channels at the center
of its sustainability strategy. Malu Nunes, sustainability manager,
states the company is investing in sustainable materials and eco-design
for its retail network. The international retailer Carrefour said
private labels and packaging were key parts of its green initiatives.
Andrew Jenkins from Boots expressed the scale of the sustainability
challenge faced by retailers; the UK pharmacy chain has 8,000 private
label products, making raw material traceability a huge task. Jenkins
called for personal care brands to take a systems approach to
sustainability, and not think about their products in isolation.
Many discussions centered on the marketing issues associated with green
products. Although consumers were becoming highly aware of environmental
and social issues, various studies show this does not always translate
to higher green product sales. Organic Monitor said that many natural &
organic beauty brands are struggling to overcome the ‘green glass
ceiling’ and get mass market appeal. Ogilvy Earth believes brands need
to target middle consumers if they are to overcome the ‘green gap’. Coop
Denmark said it was building its private label ranges to encourage green
product purchases. Deloitte Consulting described how green brands can
use social media to engage with customers.
The three editions of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit raised many new
questions about sustainability in the personal care industry: what is
the role of sustainability metrics - should companies take metrics or is
it better to have a holistic approach to sustainability? How can
cosmetic and ingredient firms move away from their preoccupation with
environmental impacts? What are the possibilities to improve their
economic footprints? In light of falling petrochemical prices, what is
the future outlook for renewable materials? How can green cosmetic
brands engage with customers? What more can be done to encourage
responsible consumption? Organic Monitor looks to address such questions
in 2015 editions…
North American edition: 14-16 May 2015, New York
Latin American edition:
28-30 September 2015, São Paulo
European edition: 19-21 October 2015, Paris
Organised by Organic Monitor, the aim of the Sustainable Cosmetics
Summit is to encourage sustainability in the beauty industry by bringing
together key stake-holders and debate major sustainability issues in a
high-level forum. The European edition was hosted in Paris on 24-26th
November, the Asia-Pacific edition in Hong Kong on 10-11th November,
whilst the Latin American edition took place in São Paulo on 10-12th
September. More information is available from
The European summit in pictures
The Asian summit in pictures
The Latin American summit in pictures
Re-Launches Fairtrade Juice Range
The Welsh company Calypso Soft Drinks
has re-launched its Fairtrade Pure Juice range
with new packaging to commemorate the 20th
anniversary of the Fairtrade mark in the UK.
The new packs offer a highly visual, brightly coloured and bold design,
which was created to stand out and appeal to a wide consumer audience.
Appearing across a range of Calypso Fairtrade Pure Juice pack formats,
including 500ml bottles, 200ml cartons and 85ml cuplets, the new
products are available through independent retailers and foodservice
Calypso, which is owned by Cott Beverages, was the first soft drinks
company to gain accreditation with the Fairtrade Foundation in 2001.
Michele Davies, Calypso marketing manager, said: “We will be supporting
the Foundation’s theme of ‘choose products to change lives’ – its all
about consumers having the power to change the world every day by buying
Fairtrade products. With one simple choice, farmers all over the world
get a better deal and have a better, fairer life as a result.”
Valued at EUR 2.1 billion, the UK market for
fairtrade products is the largest in the world. In 1994, the Fairtrade
mark was initially launched on coffee, tea and chocolate; it now spans
over 4,500 products across categories. Fairtrade products are so
successful that the Fairtrade mark is the most widely recognised
eco-label in the UK.
The future direction of eco-labels in the food industry are featured in
the Sustainable Foods Summit. The North American edition will take place
in San Francisco on
21-22nd January 2015, the European edition in Amsterdam
on 4-5 June, whilst the Latin American
edition will be in São Paulo on 25-26th June
information is available from the
Source: News Release
Aldi 's Organic Move
Could Spark Price War
With Aldi expanding its organic food range, the Soil
Association believes the move could spark a new price war between major
Consumers could save 25% on their baskets of British organic products by
shopping at Aldi, the German discounter claimed when it announced it
would sell organic produce. But Aldi's move into organics could make the
sector the new battleground in the supermarket price war, claims chief
executive of Soil Association Helen Browning.
According to the organisation, Sainsbury is the largest retailer
of organic food with a market share of 29%. Such high sales of organic
products have led some city analysts to suggest that the discounters
posed a threat to Sainsbury and the other major multiples with organic
"Will it be that Sainsbury and the other retailers start to say, 'we
will cut our margins on organic to maintain our customer base'?"
questioned Browning. "Or will they say 'we're going back to our
suppliers to ask them to do it for less'?"
Browning said consumers were once again starting to show interest
in organic food. This follows a fall off in demand for organics during
the recession. However, continued pressure on consumer spending power
was increasing competition for shoppers between the big retailers. "We
don't want to see price wars going on in organic," remarked Browning.
She added that farmers and food manufacturers would ultimately pay the
Sainsbury would not be drawn on whether it would lower the prices of its
organic products in response to Aldi's move. "We don't comment on
pricing or competitors," said a spokeswoman.
The discounters were definitely a threat to the big four supermarkets'
organic offering, according to Clive Black, an analyst at Shore Capital.
"The limited assortment discounters are actively exploring and seeking
to move up the value chain; they have been for some time, and organic
products form part of that process," he said.
Julian Wild, a partner at the law firm Rollits, agreed with this
analysis and suggested Aldi would use organics as a 'loss leader', "I
suspect that Aldi wants to show that it isn't just a cheap discounter
and can offer organics," he said.
Although there are concerns about discounters commitment to organic
foods, one should not forget their growing importance in the UK retail
market. Lidl and Aldi have been showing a rise in market share at the
expense of large supermarkets. Furthermore, the heavy discounters are
expanding their premium lines, such as wine, meats, and seafood.
Consumers can benefit from lower prices of organic foods, as they have
done in Germany and Denmark where the market share of organic products
is much higher then that in the UK.
The Grocer / OM