Chaired - for the first time - by Roland Lescure, Minister Delegate for Industry, the "Cosmetics Industry Committee" met on November 28, in person, at Bercy, for a third working session since its creation in 2021, following the "Etats Généraux de la Cosmétique". Organized by the Cosmetic Valley competitiveness cluster and Febea, in the presence of some twenty representatives of the industry, this meeting provided an opportunity to discuss with the Minister the challenges faced by the various links in the value chain - suppliers, manufacturers, distributors -, and to submit to the Minister concrete projects for cooperation between companies, trade associations and public authorities. At the end of the meeting, Cosmetic Valley, Febea and the Mediator of Companies signed the "Charter on responsible purchasing", the first outcome of the process launched in early 2021 with the adoption, by the sector's largest principals, of the "Declaration of solidarity of cosmetics companies with the glass sector". It formalizes ten commitments between principals and suppliers.
The participants of the Industry Committee were keen to place this meeting in a context marked by the dual energy crisis - which is hitting the cosmetics industry, especially its suppliers, and upsetting the balance and the global supply chain -, and environmental - whose challenges remain immense, urgent, but also represent an "aggiomamento" growth for the industry.
From the outset, the Minister for Industry welcomed this exchange with the entire cosmetics ecosystem, its value chain, its suppliers and partners that he had already met at length during the inauguration of the Cosmetic 360 trade show, organized by the industry last October in Paris. He emphasized the economic importance of this industrial sector, essential and exemplary, which makes France a leader through the investment made, the jobs created in the territories, its decisive contribution to the balance of trade of France and the remarkable initiatives it carries to achieve its ecological transition, saluting, in other words, an industry of the future.
Energy and decarbonation: continuing the energy transition, despite the crisis
Inflation and risks to gas supplies are not distracting the cosmetics industry from its roadmap. It is resolutely committed to pursuing its energy transition.
Several of the participants in the meeting alerted the Minister to the consequences of the energy crisis, particularly on medium-sized companies (Eti) that are often ineligible for the various grants that have been set up. Philippe d'Ornano, president of Sisley and vice-president of METI, pointed out that SMEs that had invested to reduce the share of energy below 3% of their turnover were therefore not eligible for public aid, while Xavier Gagey, president of the Pochet group, stressed the need for public support to succeed in the major ecological shift represented by the electrification of glass furnaces, without weakening the business.
The industry's commitment to energy efficiency was recalled by Emmanuel Guichard, General Delegate of Febea, who mentioned the signing of the EcoWatt and EcoGaz charters as well as the awareness campaign on "eco-actions in the bathroom", launched by Febea as an extension of the government's "Every action counts" campaign.
Referring to decarbonization, Laurent Kleitman, President of Parfums Christian Dior, presented the roadmap of Parfums Christian Dior, the many areas identified by France Nation Verte to which the company contributes, and the approach, marked by voluntarism and interdependence with its suppliers, in which it wishes to resolutely participate.
The Minister welcomed the commitments made by the sector. While recalling the significant efforts made by the government to help companies, he acknowledged some "perverse effects" in its support systems and assured that corrections would be introduced, starting in January 2023. through, in particular, calls for decarbonation projects tailored to SMEs and Eti in the framework of France2030.
Biodiversity in cosmetics: a catalyst for research, innovation and attractiveness of the territories of France and overseas
Natural ingredients are both the origin and the future of the cosmetics industry, which is asserting itself as a lever for the preservation and consolidation of biodiversity. After Emmanuel Quiblier, Director of Operations at Greentech, recalled the commitment of raw material suppliers in the preservation of biodiversity, and while Philippe Massé, President of Prodarom, expressed the concerns of ingredient producers in the face of upcoming regulations, the President of Cosmetic Valley Marc-Antoine Jamet presented the ambitions of the industry to defend biodiversity by promoting the "cosmetopoeia. A true repository of natural resources used in cosmetics, it is a key element in the defense of biodiversity by our industry, participates in its innovative character through the appearance or rediscovery of certain ingredients and becomes an increasingly strategic priority of its research. It is also a catalyst for development for the territories in metropolitan France, of course, but especially in Overseas France, where the competitiveness cluster has concluded many partnerships, the next one to be built in February in Martinique. The President of Cosmetic Valley wished that these initiatives would be more integrated in the future in programs and networks initiated by public authorities, stressing the importance of giving them greater visibility in major international events dedicated to biodiversity and policies conducted within local communities in Overseas.
The Minister considered these lines of action "very stimulating", mobilizing local actors and was very open to supporting this approach.
Plastic packaging: industrial sovereignty and circular economy
At the meeting of the second sector committee in March 2021, it was recalled, with the presentation of a solid study conducted by the firm PWC, that, if the sector was already a champion of "Made in France", its desire was to further pursue its efforts to relocate whether ingredients, packaging, production of various suppliers, to secure and strengthen its purchases in France - 83% of its supplies are already Franco-European and massively French.
Christian Thery, President of Elipso and Nicolas Yatzimirsky, President of Albea tubes, recalled the key role of packaging in the value chain and testified to the commitment of the sector through 7 axes developed within the framework of the mediation of companies with Cosmetic Valley and Febea. initiative that had been launched as an extension of the first meeting of the Committee of the sector
Two priorities emerge: on the one hand, repatriating the manufacture of packaging molds in France, a major challenge for relocating production, reducing the time needed to launch new products, and increasing the flexibility and responsiveness of our companies; on the other hand, committing to the eco-design of products and the development of the circular economy.
Confident in the recycling techniques that are rapidly evolving, the professionals have further emphasized the challenge of collecting packaging waste and access to the material. The Minister welcomed the work done in the framework of the mediation of companies and renewed his support to the packaging sector which must invest massively on rapid transformations.
Employment and training: an industry of the future
A few days after the closing of this year's "Industry Week" entitled "Acting for an industry of the future", the cosmetics sector has demonstrated both its strength in terms of training and employment opportunities, and the need to go further, with public authorities, to make this offer visible and attractive.
The issues of employment and training were illustrated by Régine Ferrère, President of the CNEP. who reminded the audience of the job pool represented by the beauty and perfumery professions and underlined the recruitment difficulties encountered by companies by recalling the performance of the sector in terms of apprenticeship: after having committed, within the framework of the "1 young person, 1 solution" convention, to provide a solution to 12,000 young people, 19,000 apprenticeship contracts, jobs or internships were finally filled in the distribution and manufacturing professions in 2022.
After the presentation by Christophe Masson, CEO of Cosmetic Valley, of the tools and communication campaign that will be implemented by the cluster in 2023 to strengthen the attractiveness of the cosmetics industry to young people, the Minister assured that the industry could count on his support to promote the industry's professions and confirmed that public support for apprenticeship, which has doubled the number of contracts during the last five years, would be renewed on all positions, unskilled as well as more qualified.
Relations with the retail sector: solving the difficulties of the hygiene/beauty department in a context of inflation
On the subject of relations with large-scale distribution in a context of inflation in the cost of raw materials and energy and pressure on prices, the Minister said he was aware of the difficulties that weigh on suppliers of hygiene and beauty products. He notably underlined the importance of the work carried out by the Mediator of companies to reach a charter of good practices between distributors and suppliers.
International: regain French soft power through a united and offensive front from the industry and public authorities
Both the speakers and the minister agreed on the need to promote the strengths of the French cosmetics industry, in the face of increasingly strong and organized competition, which does not hesitate, following the example of Korean K-Beauty, to join forces with other creative industries to consolidate its prescriptive power and conquer new markets.
The crucial importance of supporting the French cosmetics industry in the face of international competition was recalled by several speakers, including Marie-France Zumofen, Director of Isipca, who stressed the need to support the "soft power" of creative industries. The Minister, who mentioned the project supported by the industry of a "industry brand" backed by Choose France, also announced his decision, at the request of the "Cosmetics Industry Committee", to launch a study on public policies to support the cosmetics industry conducted by the major international competitors of French cosmetics, in order to identify the best levers of action that France should adopt. This initiative must be completed by others: creation of a cosmetics week abroad supported by our embassy network and constitution of a VIE network where markets need to be followed.
Signing of the "Responsible Purchasing/Supplier Relations" charter
At the end of the meeting, the Mediator of companies Pierre Pelouzet, Febea and Cosmetic Valley signed the "Charter for responsible supplier relations / purchases". This charter is part of the mediation process initiated at the meeting of the first industry committee in March 2021, and which had been set up in the wake of the adoption, in January 2021, of the "Declaration of solidarity of cosmetics companies with the glass sector" - an initiative supported by Cosmetic Valley and Febea, and a document signed by the largest principals of the sector. It will help to strengthen trust in relationships and to maintain balanced and sustainable relationships between suppliers, especially packaging suppliers, and principals. It includes 10 commitments:
o Ensure a responsible financial relationship with suppliers
o Maintain a respectful relationship with all suppliers, favouring the development of collaborative relationships
o Identify and manage reciprocal dependencies with suppliers
o Involve the signatory organizations in their sector
o Appreciate all life cycle costs and impacts
o Integrate environmental and social responsibility issues
o Ensure the territorial responsibility of its organization
o The professionalism and ethics of the purchasing function
o A purchasing function responsible for the overall management of supplier relations
o A "supplier relations" mediator, in charge of smoothing internal and external relations within the company
For Marc-Antoine Jamet, President of Cosmetic Valley: " The Minister for Industry was able to see that our industry, united, was both a force for proposals and a winning asset for France to become, according to his wishes, a green and sovereign nation. We confirmed to him that our activities were neither futile nor peripheral, but, in the same way as aeronautics, essential to the growth and employment of our country. An industry based on the richness of our heritage and our land, it is also an industry of the future, provided that the French and European standards continue to allow its excellence and exemplarity. It is essential that we consolidate, with the support of the public authorities, the influence of its "soft power". This third meeting of the Industry Committee has enabled us to put forward concrete measures that will help us meet these challenges ".
For Emmanuel Guichard, General Delegate of Febea: " Roland Lescure was able to discuss with a united industry, mobilized on the issues of ecological transition, industrialization and defense of the Mode in France. The Minister gave encouraging answers on many important issues for our competitiveness. This third meeting shows that the strategic importance of the cosmetics sector is now recognized and established at the highest level. "