The Big Interview: 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.

We’re delighted to kick off the series with Mark Smith, Director of NATRUE.

Mark graduated with a M.Chem (Hons.) degree in chemistry and an interdisciplinary PhD. between chemistry and genetics. Before joining NATRUE in June 2014, he developed further his research career with two positions covering biotechnology (Leeds, UK) and the biomedical/pharmaceutical sector (Montréal, Canada). Mark is a British national who has more than five years’ experience in Scientific Management. During the last ten years, he has been involved in the successful coordination of strategic and collaborative interdisciplinary projects via academic departmental and international research. Mark became Director General of NATRUE in July 2016.

How did you get into organic?

My background is chemistry. After a number of years at the bench in research I sought a change from the lab. Working at NATRUE allowed me to balance my background and drive for green, sustainable innovation with my passion for consumer transparency in light of the greenwashing still impacting the natural sector.

Can you tell us a little about the history of your Company?

NATRUE, the International Natural and Organic Cosmetics Association, advocates for the promotion and protection of natural and organic cosmetics to the benefit of consumers worldwide. For more than 13 years, we have been the voice of the natural and organic cosmetic sector in Europe. The NATRUE Label sets a high benchmark to guarantee consumers maximum levels of natural and organic content in NATRUE certified cosmetics. Through its rigorous set of criteria, which includes requirements not only linked to the formulation of products but also to the protection of the environment, sustainability and packaging, the NATRUE Label actively contributes to combatting greenwashing and misleading claims in the cosmetics sector, and helps consumers to identify cosmetics that fully meet their expectations of “natural” and “organic”. All NATRUE certified products can be checked in our online database at www.natrue.org.

What do you think are the biggest opportunities facing the organic sector?

As a chemist, I am thrilled to see the potential new technologies have when it comes to sustainable-focused innovation. I am delighted to see that many of these existing and emerging technologies reflect the core expectations of consumer for natural and organic cosmetic products. Everything from sustainable crops with a carbon negative footprint, to waterless and waste-free packaging products.
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