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UEBT Conference to focus on how biodiversity shapes the beauty industry

By Andrew MCDOUGALL , 15-Feb-2013
Last updated on 15-Feb-2013 at 12:23 GMT

Biodiversity has been a concept growing in momentum in the cosmetics industry and for that reason the annual UEBT conference, held in Paris on 19 April, will focus on how biodiversity is reshaping the beauty industry. 

The Beauty of Sourcing with Respect Conference is an international gathering for the beauty industry to understand trends and developments and gain insights into practical experiences; and this year's conference, will present the results of the 2013 UEBT Biodiversity Barometer, a survey first launched in 2009 to track consumer understanding of biodiversity.

"We have seen a stable growth in the awareness of biodiversity amongst consumers at an international level since we started this barometer,” says Rik Kutsch Lojenga, UEBT's executive director.

“For instance in France, awareness has grown from 87 per cent in 2009 to 95per cent in 2012. In last year's survey 90 per cent of the French consumers said they wished to be better informed about how companies source their ingredients."

Benefit sharing

The 2013 conference will have a special focus on China in addition to the countries covered every year, as well as another key focus on 'Access and Benefit Sharing' (ABS) of biodiversity.

"Biodiversity is a key source of innovation in the cosmetics sector. In 2010, international rules on ABS were adopted under auspices of the UN,” says Kutsch Lojenga.

“Now, the European Commission and national governments are working to translate these rules into national laws. These laws will have significant impact on how biodiversity-based R&D is conducted, including in the cosmetic sector.”

Natural importance

UEBT claims that biodiversity is also important for the many natural ingredients sourced by the beauty industry, such as rose oil from Turkey, Shea nut collected in Africa, or alcohol derived from sugar cane in Brazil.

Through their supply chains, companies are able to contribute significantly to community development and biodiversity conservation.

At the conference, supported byt Natura and L’Oréal, companies from the cosmetics sector will share practical experiences and give concrete examples from around the world.

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