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Cosmetics industry committee meets at Bercy

Chaired by Roland Lescure, Minister Delegate for Industry, the cosmetics industry committee was held on November 17, 2023, at Bercy's Ministry of the Economy, Finance, and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty. Read the report.

Organized by the Cosmetic Valley competitiveness cluster and Febea (Fédération des entreprises de la beauté), the meeting was attended by some thirty industry representatives from all links in the value chain and from companies of all sizes, the Médiateur des Entreprises and, for the first time, representatives of the Ministers of Foreign Trade, Ecological Transition and Overseas Territories. 

Ecological transition: launch of a decarbonization strategy and enhancement of biodiversity in the French overseas territories with the deployment of "cosmetopoeia".

After a reminder from Hervé Navellou, President of L'Oréal France, of the industry's commitment to accelerating its ecological transition and the scale of the investments mobilized, Philippe d'Ornano, President of Sisley, defined the challenges of reducing carbon emissions and announced that the industry would be drawing up a climate strategy. Launched by Febea and Carbone 4, this strategy will aim to estimate the industry's carbon emissions, then draw up a roadmap for reducing the main emission sources. Published at the beginning of 2024, this climate strategy will be rolled out as an action plan within six months.

Jean-Paul Berthomé, Chairman of Expanscience, emphasized the growing importance of the challenge of reducing water consumption, an essential resource in cosmetics, for formulation, production and use.

Célestin Nitowski, representing the SME Bio Stratège Guyane, then presented the industry's commitment to preserving and promoting biodiversity in the French overseas territories. For several years now, Cosmetic Valley has been deploying a program to promote "cosmetopoeia". It aims to improve knowledge of the plants traditionally used in cosmetics around the world, and to encourage the development of sustainable industries, particularly in the French overseas territories, in partnership with local ecosystems. This program is deployed in partnership with universities and local authorities. The "cosmetopoeia" is thus a vector for research, training, sustainable commitment and economic development in these territories. In addition to the work of its two branches already open in French Guiana and Martinique, and partnerships in the Indian Ocean on Reunion Island and soon in Mayotte, Cosmetic Valley has announced the deployment of these schemes, which offer a very positive vision of local economies in all overseas territories by 2030.

Jobs and training: 30,000 people in the industry by 2025 

Pierre Juhen, President of the young ETI Patyka, and Xavier Gagey, President of the Pochet Group, addressed employment and training issues, in particular recruitment difficulties and recognition of the industry's professions. In response, the cosmetics industry is launching a digital platform accessible to all companies, employment and training operators and the general public. At the same time, manufacturers have stressed the urgent need to make cosmetics jobs more attractive: this is the aim of a publicity campaign, "Cosmetic Expérience Tour Acte 3", supported by Cosmetic Valley and several brands, which will be rolled out at the beginning of 2024 with an ambitious objective: to integrate or reintegrate 30,000 people into the workforce by 2025.

"Made in France": pursuing the relocation of purchases and the integration of the industry In addition to "Made in France", the industry also wishes to commit to the relocation of certain strategic purchases that were identified by a PwC study unveiled at the 2021 industry committee. These priority inputs include plastic packaging, due to a shortage and lack of competitiveness among French moldmakers. A mediation process between principals and suppliers has been launched, the progress of which was presented by the Médiateur des Entreprises, Pierre Pelouzet, during the meeting.

In the same spirit of integration, the industry is announcing the launch of work to set up an interprofessional body for fragrance plants, in order to recognize the special status of plants used in cosmetics, and to coordinate dialogue between players.

Export: setting up sector embassies in key markets

Gabrielle Saint-Genis Rodriguez, President of Guerlain, presented the challenges of export. In a highly competitive market, with a complex geopolitical context and trade tensions, the challenge is to exploit the potential of export markets while effectively protecting French know-how. Although the French cosmetics industry is the 3rd largest contributor to France's trade surplus, its leadership is increasingly challenged by economically solid, technologically powerful foreign competitors, backed by ambitious public strategies. The evolution of Chinese regulations is a concern for all manufacturers in the sector. Structuring the industry's influence in high-potential, highly competitive markets is therefore becoming essential. Jean-Yves Berthon, President of Greentech, presented the creation of sector embassies for perfumery and cosmetics: the first will be launched in Shanghai, China, in 2024, followed by others in South Korea, the United States and Japan. In addition to the national "Dare to Export" strategy and the actions already undertaken by the French government and Business France, the aim is to create a dynamic and daring "business community" in these markets.

For Roland Lescure, Minister Delegate for Industry, " This industry committee illustrates the determination of the public authorities to support the structuring of the industry and to identify, with cosmetics players, projects for the future. Just a few days before Industry Week, this committee also serves to highlight a French manufacturing sector that covers the entire value chain, from flavorings to distribution. This year's focus is on three key themes: the ecological transition, the competitiveness and cohesion of the industry, and international development, all of which are the subject of ambitious, structuring projects by industry players."

For Marc-Antoine Jamet, President of Cosmetic Valley: "Our industry committee is settling in. It has become regular and more representative, more concrete and better monitored. It is becoming "interministerial", with a 360° approach to issues that are now strategic for a major sector of the French economy. I'm delighted with the cohesion, consistency and coherence of private enterprise, and the strengthened partnership with public authorities that this enables. Our sector is innovative and successful, but it is also subject to major economic, geopolitical, technological and societal challenges - ecological and digital transitions, pressures on employment, an international environment marked by crises and conflicts - that we can only meet together. To remain a leader, we need to change pace and scale, invest in the hard sciences and build on our soft power. That's what our industry committee is doing.

Emmanuel Guichard, General Delegate of Febea: "This industry committee embodies the excellence of the French cosmetics industry, which relies on a value chain based entirely in France, from ingredients to brands. This meeting marked the determination of all players to further strengthen the integration of the industry and its commitment to the ecological transition through strategic projects such as the launch of a roadmap for the decarbonization and relocalization of certain purchases and the development of access to employment."

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