Ethical Sourcing of Natural Ingredients: conference considers industry challenge

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Ethical Sourcing of Natural Ingredients: conference considers industry challenge
The UEBT ‘Beauty of Sourcing with Respect’ Conference will discuss consumer demand for natural and ethical sourced ingredients, and new rules around this.

The event will take place 19 -20 June in Paris, and will consider how regulation impacts on how companies research and develop substances from nature, including how businesses share benefits with countries, local communities and indigenous peoples.

L’Oréal is one of the conference sponsors, and its Sustainable Innovation Director, Laurent Gilbert, says its a key focus for the beauty player.

Biodiversity is a key area of work for us. It is not only a matter of sourcing; biodiversity is also a source of innovation. Nature inspires L’Oréal in developing new applications for our consumers​,” he confirms.

Speaking of UEBT’s expertise in this area, organisers note: “How we grow, collect and use nature has profound implications for our living planet.​  

For ten years, UEBT has been working with companies to commit to sourcing with respect for people and biodiversity​.”

Biodiversity Barometer & keynote

The conference will also launch the 10th edition of the UEBT Biodiversity Barometer, organisers say.

This is a special piece of research that spans a decade, and has included interviews with 50,000 consumers asking what they know and understand about our planet’s biodiversity, and what they expect from brands.

The keynote address will be given by Anne Bahr Thompson, author of the 2017 book Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Planet.

Bahr Thompson is considered a top thought leader, says UEBT, and she has worked with brands from Pepsi to Microsoft to UNICEF.

International focus & exchange

The conference will also bring policymakers from China, India and South Africa for an exchange with business leaders on the shape and evolution of new and robust rules that regulate how companies tap into the wealth of ingredients found in nature.

This includes how a business must research and develop new products derived from plants, animals or microbes, says UEBT.

“Rules on access and benefit sharing – also called ABS and based on the Nagoya Protocol, an international UN agreement binding in over 100 countries to date – affects how businesses can approach research on natural ingredients,​” says Maria Julia Oliva, a leading international ABS expert working for UEBT.  

“Laboratories and brands all over the world are working to find new and effective products from nature.

"This means they must follow ABS rules, including in the European Union, which requires due diligence on ABS and making a declaration when introducing new products to the market.”

The programme of speakers for the conference includes representatives from an Amazon community, Natura Cosmetics, Weleda, L’Oréal, Symrise, Martin Bauer, Capua 1880, Seppic, Plant Advanced Technologies, Rainforest Alliance, Sederma, WWF, Global Nature Fund, Sustainable Food Lab, Tatil Design, United Nations Convention on Biological Resources, and ABS experts and authorities from Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Full information can be found here​.

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