The Union for Ethical Bio Trade (UEBT) will hold the 7th edition of its annual “Beauty of Sourcing with Respect” Conference on 25 June 2015 at the Étoile Saint Honoré centre, 21 Rue Balzac in Paris. Special attention will be given to the beauty and personal care sector, in addition to food and pharmaceuticals.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com © Milosz G.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com © Milosz G.

This year’s UEBT conference explores the marketing implications of growing biodiversity awareness among consumers, the link between biodiversity-based product innovation and new regulation on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), and supply chain partnerships for ethical sourcing,” says UEBT’s Executive Director Rik Kutsch Lojenga.

Nature is a valuable source of innovation for beauty, health and food companies, in particular as consumers’ demand for nature-based products continues growing. “The ability to develop new ideas is critical for companies working with natural ingredients, given strong competition and rapidly evolving consumer preferences towards naturals,” highlights UEBT.

New regulations

With new regulations on biodiversity-based R&D being adopted in Europe and other countries around the world, companies innovating with natural ingredients need to review their practices to ensure compliance.

For instance, the Nagoya Protocol, an international UN agreement currently binding over 55 countries, requires ABS (access and benefit sharing) permits for R&D into the genetic or biochemical components of biodiversity. Such research would include, for example, exploring plant parts, extracts or oils for new cosmetics ingredients or for inspiration for synthetic material to include in fragrances. It would also cover activities in the food sector such as developing new natural colorants or scientifically proving properties in traditional medicinal plant for use in health beverages.

Following the adoption of the UN Nagoya Protocol, the European Union has adopted regulation 511/2014, requiring companies to prove that biodiversity research permits have been secured as part of the market approval process for natural ingredients. Countries such as France, Brazil, India, Mexico, Morocco or South Africa also have new rules on how biodiversity is accessed for research and development and how resulting benefits must be shared.

Many questions remain unanswered as to the practical implications of evolving rules on access and benefit sharing for innovation in natural ingredients,” notes María Julia Oliva, an international expert from the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT). For example, companies are still working to identify the critical control points for compliance with access and benefit sharing and develop procedures for securing necessary authorizations.

Information and registration: ethicalbiotrade.org