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EU and Fragrance industry seek competitiveness & consumer confidence through effective legislation

EU and Fragrance industry seek competitiveness & consumer confidence through effective legislation

Members of the European Parliament and the EU Commission will today join members of the fragrance industry in addressing the challenges facing European industry to increase competitiveness and consumer confidence through better legislation. Julie Girling, MEP will be joined by Armand de Villoutreys, President of Firmenich Fragrance Division and member of the Board of IFRA. They will be speaking at the launch of an exhibition in the European Parliament titled ‘a sense of reality’, an interactive exhibition focusing on the art and science of fragrance creation in Europe.

“In order to build consumer confidence it is vital we have effective legislation,” said Julie Girling, MEP; “I myself chair an EP working group on this subject and have been impressed with the commitment shown by the fragrance industry and IFRA, to improve consumer confidence through voluntary initiatives. They have a long standing set of Standards, a code of practice and more recently, with the endorsement of the EU Commission, they have embarked on a long term scientific program called IDEA – International Dialogue on the Evaluation of Allergens ( Launched early last year, it has been designed as an international multi-stakeholder effort involving academics, regulators, dermatologists, consumer organisations and industry experts. The aim of the IDEA program is to work together on the science of fragrance allergens and to establish agreed international protocols, methodologies and defined criteria for assessing the potential risk of fragrance allergens. This program is designed to significantly improve the risk assessment methodologies and identify appropriate risk management measures in a transparent and collaborative way. I believe that is through approaches such as these that we will improve consumer confidence with effective legislation,” explained Girling.

One of the aims of this exhibition is to focus attention on the importance of better protecting the valuable know-how of European companies dependent on fast moving innovation in a highly competitive world market.


The fragrance industry is an example of a successful and competitive European sector which thrives on creativity and innovation. They add value and jobs to an extensive value chain and it is important that the EU creates a policy framework in which they can prosper. Harmonising the protection of know-how in Europe will be of real value to ensuring their continued success. In this context, IFRA will be working closely with all stakeholders on the adoption of a directive proposed by the EU Commission on the protection of undisclosed know-how and confidential business information.


“Protecting know-how is vital to us as an industry,” explained Armand de Villoutreys; ‘And with such protection comes responsibility, responsibility for safety, quality and also the responsibility of transparency. We need to consistently earn the trust of consumers in an open and effective way if we are to be granted the license to protect our know-how.


“We in the fragrance industry adhere to a voluntary initiative of strict Standards on the safety of the materials we use and encourage relevant consumer information and transparency in the approach taken to risk assessment and management.  We believe that better regulation can build consumer confidence enabling industry to continue to protect its know-how and remain competitive. Transparency and the protection of know-how are not mutually exclusive, they are intimately linked and dependent on each other,” said de Villoutreys.




Notes to Editors:


The exhibition will be running from the 2nd December until the 4th December in the Brussels EU Parliament Alterio Spinelli (ASP) building, 3rd floor.


The press conference will take place on the 2nd December at 16:30hrs in room PHS 0A50, EU Parliament, Alterio Spinelli (ASP) Building, Brussels.


Speaking at the press conference: Julie Girling, MEP and Armand de Villoutreys, President of Firmenich Fragrance Division and member of the Board of IFRA.


Facts & Figures:


10 billion euro industry

35k direct employees

8 million value chain jobs

350 billion euros gross added value

18% of turnover spent on innovation

25% of market is household products & detergents

25% of market is fine fragrances

50% of market is cosmetics & toiletries