Trade matchmaking: CTPA launches emergency response portal to facilitate business exchange

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

The CTPA Emergency Response Exchange portal is designed to match and connect suppliers and manufacturers across the UK during the coronavirus outbreak to plug product shortages (Getty Images)
The CTPA Emergency Response Exchange portal is designed to match and connect suppliers and manufacturers across the UK during the coronavirus outbreak to plug product shortages (Getty Images)

Related tags COVID-19 coronavirus CTPA Collaboration hand sanitisers

The UK Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) has launched an online exchange portal to match and connect suppliers and producers, facilitating faster production of hand sanitisers and hygiene products during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Using a model developed by Cosmetics Alliance Canada, the CTPA Emergency Response Exchange or ‘CERE’ portal connected suppliers and producers across the UK according to manufacturing capabilities and needs. The goal was to speed up and maximise production of hand sanitisers, hand washes and soaps – all of which were facing shortages across the UK.

The CERE portal could also be used by UK health authorities who urgently needed personal protection equipment (PPE), connecting them with cosmetics companies who had surplus stocks.

Innovative and novel partnerships to be forged

“From the questions CTPA has received recently from both members and non-members, it is clear that a lot of people want to help,”​ said Dr. Emma Meredith, director-general of the CTPA.

Meredith told CosmeticsDesign-Europe it was for this reason the online exchange portal was “so important”.

“It acts as a one-stop-shop for those who have the capacity and those who have a need in providing critical products at this time. As the voice of the UK cosmetics industry, it is absolutely right that CTPA is facilitating this important activity,”​ she said.

Asked if this portal might have a lasting impact through the creation of new partnerships, Meredith said: “Only time will tell, but certainly the cosmetics industry is an innovative one and I’m sure that novel and successful projects forged in this difficult time will continue and be built upon in the future.”

Beauty has shown an ‘incredibly positive’ response so far

Cosmetics companies of all sizes and across every segment had shown interest in responding and pulling together to plug needs during the coronavirus crisis, Meredith said. “I think this is a positive in an otherwise challenging outlook.”

She added: “We are living and working in very unusual times, and many industries are making links that they may not have realised existed before.”

Working relationships with distillers, for example, had been formed as cosmetic companies turned to or upscaled production of alcohol-based hand sanitisers.

“The response to the current health crisis from the cosmetics industry and other sectors, such as distillers, has been incredibly positive and is helping where there is a dire need for hand hygiene products.”

This week, European trade association Cosmetics Europe also launched a COVID-19 online response platform​ – collating important guidance documents, European Commission updates and detail of industry responses across Europe. The goal of its ‘Working Together’ portal was to raise the profile of the collaborative struggle against COVID-19, its director-general John Chave said.

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