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Sustainable future for cosmetics industry is important to European economy

By Andrew McDougall , 17-Jun-2011
Last updated on 20-Jun-2011 at 17:00 GMT

Several hundreds of key representatives from the European cosmetics industry have gathered in Brussels to discuss the importance of the industry on the European economy and how it can build for a sustainable future.

Discussions at the General Assembly focused on "Science, Beauty and Care: Innovating for a Sustainable Future".

Opening the General Assembly, Fabio Franchina, president of Colipa, which is the European Trade Association that represents the interests of the cosmetics industry, underlined the importance of the industry on the European economy.

"Today's cosmetics industry is more dynamic and innovative than ever, and we are committed to ensuring that we contribute fully to a truly sustainable future" he said.

Innovation is the key

Franchina underlined that "innovation is the life-blood of the cosmetics industry", as he talked about the importance of the cosmetics industry and particularly underlined the role of the thousands of cosmetic SMEs, that can support the industry and the economy.

Commissioner Dalli, the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, gave the keynote presentation acknowledging the contribution of the cosmetics industry to employment and innovation in Europe, and encouraged the industry to focus on sustainability through innovation.

Regarding the forthcoming 2013 deadline on the remaining exemptions from the animal testing ban, the Commissioner said: "The European Commission stands ready to support industry in the drive to finding alternative methods to animal testing."

He called upon the cosmetics industry to continue to keep momentum in research and innovation on this topic.

Not enough resources: solution needed

Also speaking at the Assembly was Sirpa Pietikainen, chair of Globe EU and a Member of European Parliament, who underlined that the world's resources did not stretch to current needs, necessitating innovative solutions, giving the example of the re-circulation of materials which she said, could only be done by industry.

"The challenge is exponentially speeding up and that means we have more serious threats, sooner and faster, and we have to react, sooner and faster", she said.

Closing the session, Bertil Heerink, Colipa's Director-General concluded that innovation and sustainable development go hand-in-hand.

“We can be proud that sustainability in our industry is clearly articulated within our Association. We can also be proud of our performance, but there is no room for complacency. Our industry needs to continue to make sustainability a reality."

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