A flagship annual event of the European Union, EU Industry Days 2022 took place during the week of 7-11 February 2022.
The goals of the week are to raise the visibility of industrial frontrunners and stimulate debate on industrial policy opportunities and challenges.
In parallel, 58 local events were selected by the European Commission (through the EU Industry Weeks platform) to take debates out of Brussels and into local communities across Europe.
IFRA and its French member, PRODAROM, were chosen to hold virtual roundtables from Grasse on 'resilience, the Green and Digital transition for the fragrance industry in France and in Europe'.
These events were organized in close collaboration between IFRA and PRODAROM, in the context of the French Presidency of the Council of the EU (January to June 2022).
IFRA and PRODAROM were delighted to welcome representatives of the European Commission to Grasse to visit three fragrance manufacturing sites in the region (Mane, Robertet and Expressions Parfumées).
The timing gave visitors to witness the blooming of mimosa in the region.
A lunch took place in Villa Fragonard, attended by Jérôme Viaud (Mayor of Grasse, Vice-President of the Alpes-Maritimes Departmental Council, and President of the Pays de Grasse Agglomeration Community), and Jean-Pierre Leleux (Honorary Mayor of Grasse and former Senator for Alpes-Maritimes, 2008-2020).
The one-day visit was the opportunity to present and exchange on the specificities of the sector, its commitment to the safe use of fragrance ingredients and the development of sustainable practices.
This was also the occasion to discuss the resilience of the sector, and the importance to consider meaningful and proportionate provisions for the fragrance value chain, in the context of the European Green Deal and EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability.
On Thursday 10 February we held two virtual roundtable discussions, bringing together a dozen high-level speakers.
The topics were:
Panel 1: Resilience - The fragrance industry, a source of prosperity and socio-economic local development
Panel 2: Green & Digital transition – The fragrance industry, a positive force for sustainability
Click the button below to watch the debate in full, or read a summary further down the page.
As part of Panel 1, the seven panellists exchanged views on the resilience of the fragrance industry in Europe and in France, its experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the future of the sector (both the opportunities and challenges).
IFRA President Martina Bianchini stressed the importance to establish and encourage EU-local partnerships as the European Union progresses with the green and digital transition, so that the fragrance industry remains resilient and continues to thrive.
Jérôme Viaud (Mayor of Grasse, Vice-President of the Alpes-Maritimes Departmental Council, and President of the Pays de Grasse Agglomeration Community) and Jean-Pierre Leleux (Honorary Mayor of Grasse and former Senator for Alpes-Maritimes, 2008-2020) highlighted the importance of the fragrance value chain in the socio-economic local ecosystem, from the producers of natural fragrance ingredients to transformation, and including all related activities (from water services to the supply of specific equipments).
They underlined the cultural heritage related to the sector, recognized worldwide with the inscription by Unesco in 2018 of the skills and know-how linked to the perfumer in the region as intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
Patrice de Laurens (President of the French Inter-ministerial Committee on Fragrance, Aromatic and Medicinal Plants, Ministry for Agriculture and Food) presented the ambitions of the French Presidency of the Council of the EU for a sustainable strategy for fragrance raw materials.
He outlined the ongoing discussions in the related French Inter-ministerial committee aiming at aligning the French positions in the context of the upcoming discussions on REACH, CLP, and as part of CARACAL meetings.
Jean Mane (CEO of Mane) illustrated the resilience of the sector during the COVID-19 pandemic through concrete actions, and made reference to the company’s new tool to support sustainable development for the design and manufacturing of produced fragrance ingredients.
Philippe Massé (Chairman and Director General of PRODAROM) brought the perspective of the French fragrance industry, highlighting the importance and willingness of the sector to work closely with national and European authorities, and the need to develop an appropriate regulatory framework that will allow the sustainable growth of the sector, while preserving its cultural and natural heritage.
Johanna Bernsel (Deputy Head of Unit for Bioeconomy, Chemicals and Cosmetics - Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, DG GROW, European Commission) explained how the renewed EU Industrial Strategy will take into account the learnings of the COVID-19 crisis. The critical role of the fragrance industry as part of COVID-19 pandemic (notably as part of the supply chain for manufacturing essential products) will be stressed.
She indicated that the upcoming discussions on the Green Deal and Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability will aim to ensure a 'transition pathway' for the chemical industry.
In Panel 2, the five panellists debated the role of the fragrance industry and value chain in the context of the Green and Digital transition.
Hans Holger Gliewe (IFRA Chairman) confirmed the commitment of the fragrance industry to the Green and Digital transition, stressing that in the sector, the transition already started several years ago.
Reference was made to the release in 2021 of the 1st IFRA-IOFI Annual Sustainability Report, showing impressive results thanks to the long-standing sustainable development commitments and initiatives of the sector for many years.
In a pre-recorded video, Cristina Maestre Martín de Almagro, Spanish Socialists & Democrats Member of the European Parliament, highlighted her commitment to support the natural fragrance ingredient value chain, and called for the creation of a supportive alliance of governments and representatives from main producing countries in Europe (France, Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy and Spain) to defend the value chain with scientific rigour.
Emmanuel Guichard (Director General of FEBEA - Fédération des Entreprises de la Beauté) highlighted the commitment of the cosmetic sector to protection of the environment and made reference to the FEBEA good practice guidelines to preserve biodiversity.
The role of digitalisation to provide meaningful information to consumers was also emphasized, through the CLAIRE app developed by the sector in France.
Calice Becker (Co-President of the International Society of Perfumer-Creators - ISPC) explained how today’s megatrends (sustainability and the use of innovative technologies as artificial intelligence) are embedded in today’s work of a perfumer-creator and how this is shaping fragrance creation.
Elodie Durbec (Student at Grasse Institute of Perfumery (GIP) – International Technical Degree in Fragrance Creation and Sensory Evaluation, 2021-2022) provided the perspective of the ‘new generation’ of perfumers-creators, on the future of the profession, particularly in the context of the Green and Digital transition.
These perspectives triggered insightful and constructive discussions for the future of the fragrance value chain, and Martina Bianchini provided some closing statements – underlining the importance to continue working together, with partners in the value chain and regulatory decision-makers, to help raise the bar across our industry, building upon the IFRA-IOFI Sustainability Charter.
Together with the IFRA Code of Practice, including the IFRA Standards, which form the basis of the internationally accepted risk management system for the safe use of fragrance ingredients, these are fantastic tools to build upon and advance on the sector’s commitment for the safe use of fragrances, in the respect of our shared environment.