Here is The Big Interview Part 4 and we’re delighted to talk to José Emilio Guillén Cerdá, CEO at Endemich Biotech S.L.
Welcome to our New Q&A Series brought to you by Organic Food Iberia and Eco Living Iberia. In the run up to the show, which returns on 8-9 September 2021, we’ll be speaking to some of the biggest names across the organic industry.
With a passion for the world of ethnobotany and the respect for the environment, Emilio Guillén is in charge if the company ENDEMIC BIOTECH S.L., which was born with an environmentally mind, introducing in the market products that are efficient, healthy and sustainable.
How did you get into organic?
My passion for the organic world started a long time ago from a personal perspective, in my lifestyle and I wanted to be environmentally friendly. I am very passionate about ethnobotany and using plants around me in a traditional way. Later, I was able to include this passion in my professional life, through the concept of Green Chemical and the Substitution Principle. We are proud of our commitment with the environment, basing our strategy of sustainability on 3 aspects: the cycle of life of each product, the selection of sustainable ingredients and eco-design.
Can you tell us a little about the history of your Company?
ENDEMIC BIOTECH S.L. is a company specialised in botanical extracts, natural cosmetics and hygiene, which through a sustainable use of the resources creates products with criteria of biotechnology quality that respects the people and the environment.
It was created in 2006 as a technological business to merge within the organic market as the first company of the region of Valencia in certifying products with the Organic European stamp. Little by little, it developed different categories of certified organic products from the brand ECOTECH and a range of natural products for the hair called ENDEMIC.
In the past few years, we have been working with the eco-design of the packaging so that the whole product, both the inside and outside, is sustainable supporting the circular economy and encourage a second life for packaging.
What do you think are the biggest opportunities facing the organic sector?
The Zero Waste movement was introduced a couple of years ago, and its philosophy is to minimise residue. This lifestyle means we need to change our actions to reduce the generation of residue. These changes can be made at different levels, it involves a personal, social and even structural change.
This movement, alongside the Circular Economy, is one of the greatest opportunities for the organic sector. The opportunity to reduce the consumption of products that are limited and reduce the residue generation has the support of the Governments to meet the United Nations goal.
Our bet is to rely on ECOTECH, where we apply the 3 Rs: reduce, recycle and re-use. We offer the possibility to consume in a more sustainable way and rethink about one use packaging, filling them up and using them again.
And what do you think are the biggest challenges?
For the Ecolabel stamp, the criteria of concession are more and more restrictive. Every 4 to 6 years, depending on the category of the product, there are new decision published that modify the requirements of the certification and they prepare the products, so they have a lesser negative impact on the environment. What happens is that some products lose the organic certification due to that and many other however adapt to the new circumstances. From our beginning, our formulas were created with requirements that were already very restrictive, and we have been adapting to change in a very natural way. Our eco-design standards are above the norm, selecting ingredients with vegetal origins, replacing dangerous raw materials with healthier ones and using packaging from recycled plastics.
What do you think can be done to educate consumers about the importance of moving to organic?
Environmental awareness is very important. We need to share the benefits, for both our health and the environment, that an organic product can bring in comparison to a non-organic product. This is the most important part of this awareness.
From endemic Biotech we carry out activities of awareness through our social media, our website etc. But also, at a personal level through professional training and our clients. It is important that they know that if they use organic cleaning products it benefits their health as well as the environment. And at the same time, we promote actions, in schools, for examples, to help people understand the correct use of sanitary products, with responsible consumption and reduce residue.
What do you think the impact of the COVID pandemic will be on the future of organic consumption?
Pandemics aren’t natural phenomenon. They are the result of human interactions with their surroundings and an imbalance between both. Experts agree that the best vaccine for our future is to protect the environment and respond in an organic way. We must adapt our lifestyles to be more sustainable and eco-friendlier, consume rationally and reduce the impact of the generation of residue. Any action, as small as it is, counts. Therefore, the impact of the current pandemic and the protection of future ones will make consumption an increase towards organic products, and this is something very positive.
Do you have any plans or news that you can tell us about?
We have increased our range of certified cosmetic ECOTECH with the Organic European Stamp. In this range, we introduce a body wash called ECOTECH NATURAL GREEN, which has been made especially for people with sensitive skin, and there is a baby version too called ECOTECH BABY. We have also introduced two organic shampoos, ECOTECH VITAL which is a hydrating shampoo and another one for more frequent use, ECOTECH CLEANSER. They both have natural oils that bring protection and softness to the hair and scalp. This range has been formulated with vegetal ingredients and contains no sulphates, conservatives, colorant and allergens.
During 2021, our plan is to increase the index of the amount of natural ingredients within our cleaning products from the range ECOTECH. This index calculates the percentage of natural ingredients from a formulation in the cosmetic sector, but it shows a great future as an alternative in the hygiene sector.