In our Speaker Spotlight series, get to know our speakers before you see them. Find out what trends Dr. Mark Smith predicts this year, who they admire in the industry, and why you should attend their session at Natural & Organic Products Europe in April.
What one person or business in the natural & organic industry do you really admire and why?
Having worked with various worldwide manufacturers and brand owners of different sizes at NATRUE over the past 9 years, I could not name a single individual or necessarily a single business that stands out alone for admiration.
What I certainly admire is the commitment and willingness to share, work together and grow ideas to ensure the betterment of the sector through businesses, and the individuals within them, with whom I’ve had the pleasure to have first-hand contact with.
What do you see as key trends for natural & organic in the coming year?
Sustainability underpins all elements of the cosmetics industry nowadays. I would expect to see further improvements in the areas of ingredient sourcing, conserving resources and materials through lower impact and more efficient formulation development. Through to better selection of packaging to permit refill and reuse or towards greater recycling of recyclable materials. An overarching factor will be the consumers’ ability to pay for products with rising costs of living. So, there may be a shift from use of higher priced products towards cheaper, more essential alternatives.
The show demonstrates an excellent opportunity to connect to new and reconnect with existing colleagues, brands and stakeholders in the sector; not only from the UK but worldwide.
Can you give us an example of what your business is doing to become even more sustainable
Our business card is our label. We always review the label criteria to ensure it is meaningful in the context of on-going regulatory changes, consumer demands and social best-practices and environmental needs. This is completed in conjunction with our members and spearheaded by our scientific committee. The biggest area for us remains application of a standardised method for packaging criteria that does not duplicate on-going regulatory developments at EU-level, and which can be applicable for stakeholders worldwide. Other actions we look at are sustainable sourcing criteria and end-of-life impact of raw materials.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your role and the most challenging?
There isn’t really one aspect. A select few of the most rewarding aspects include working with our dedicated team in Brussels, assisting our members and label users, communicating to consumers, and presenting our broad workload to external stakeholders. The most challenging aspect is keeping on top of the diverse range of projects and activities NATRUE is involved in ranging from our label and its criteria, to emerging and evolving legislation through to research projects at EU-level.
How important is Natural & Organic Products Europe trade show to the you/industry?
The show demonstrates an excellent opportunity to connect to new and reconnect with existing colleagues, brands and stakeholders in the sector; not only from the UK but worldwide. It also provides the opportunity to share and communicate new research, work and perspectives from the sector, as well as enhance further collaboration.
Why should visitors attend your session at the show?
To find out more about how digital tools can assist in the communication of complex subjects. Also to learn about the emerging and evolving legislation that will impact businesses and consumers now and in the coming years.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given.
It’s easier to know what you don’t like, than what you do.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that most people don’t know:
I love the freedom and expression of dance!
See Dr. Mark Smith’s session ‘Communicating sustainability digitally: Consumer perception, expectation and fulfilment‘. Register for a trade ticket here.