Fragrance and Cosmetics Industry Unites in Spain: A Closer Look at Sustainable Practices Amidst EU Green Deal Challenges

Photo by Cristina Anne Costello

Five associations active in the fragrance and cosmetics value chains in Europe and in Spain have come together to organize a two-day visit to the Murcian lemon fields. This highlights the positive contribution of the sector in the Green Transition, matched with a willingness to exchange with all parties involved.

Changes to the EU’s chemicals legislation will impact growers, processors, fragrance ingredient manufacturers and users in the region and across the Union – so building a balanced and effective package of chemicals legislation is essential.

“Our sectors contribute in meaningful ways in regions across Europe. The fragrance and cosmetics sectors boost regional development, are central to regional communities, and underpin sustainable growth and innovation across the continent”, said Aurelie Perrichet, Regional Director for Europe, International Fragrance Association (IFRA).

“We are demonstrating the importance of cooperation and collaboration up and down the value chain. We must collectively build a greater understanding of the challenges posed by the implementation of the EU Green Deal – and particularly the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS) – which is well on its way to completion”, added Germán Castillo, Managing Director of the Spanish Association of Flavour and Fragrance Companies (AEFAA).

This visit was organized in close collaboration between AEFAA, the Interprofessional Lemon and Grapefruit Association (AILIMPO), Cosmetics Europe, IFRA and the Spanish Association of Perfumes and Cosmetics (STANPA).

“The world’s second largest producer of lemons, and the Murcia region amounts for more than 50% of Spain lemon production. By combining traditional techniques and scaling-up modern techniques, such as advanced irrigation and carbon sequestration, our sector is showing itself to be reliable partner in meeting the EU’s Green Deal ambitions”, added Jose Antonio Garcia, President of AILIMPO.

The entire value chain is covered by this visit, from lemon plantations to processing plants all the way to fragrance creation sites. The delegation examining these locations features representatives from across the fragrance and cosmetics sectors, as well as local, regional and European policy makers. These include MEPs, European Commission representatives and the Mayor of Santomera, Víctor Martínez.

“The European cosmetics and personal care industry is a science-driven, forward-looking, flagship sector highly committed to innovation. We also greatly value the traditions and centuries-long expertise of local producers – such as lemon growers and processors in Murcia, who deliver the raw materials that are important ingredients in the cosmetics and perfumes we offer to consumers around the world” said John Chave, Director General of Cosmetics Europe.

“Essential oils are a key component of our industry and our country. Spain is a world leader in their production, with 72,000 hectares of essential oil crops, plantations that have an immediate economic and social impact of more than 3.5 billion euros and 50 thousand jobs”, said Val Díez, General Director of Stanpa. “However, the positive impact of essences goes much further: the value chain goes from the field into our homes. Spain is the world’s second largest producer of both lemons and its essential oil. Production is almost 1,400 tons, and generates about 23,000 direct jobs in rural areas, more than 50% of which are held by women”.

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