#Grasse_FlavourDay: 'Sustainability' at the cradle of the Flavour Industry

On 27 September 2018, the European Flavour Association (EFFA) organised the Grasse FlavourDay: ‘Sustainability Conference’. By going to Grasse, the #FlavourDay tour honoured one of the cradles of the flavour industry. The participants discussed how ‘Sustainability’ is shaping the future of taste.

More than 80 people gathered on 27 September in Grasse, France, to discuss the perspectives of ‘Sustainability’:

  • How policy makers’ actions are shaping the framework in which companies operate,
  • The commitment and contribution of the flavour industry,
  • Consumers in focus: what do they want and understand by ‘Sustainability’.

The Mayor of Grasse, Mr. Jérôme Viaud, welcomed the audience and acknowledged the role of the flavour industry for Grasse and the region. The EFFA President, Antoine Kastler, highlighted the choice of Grasse for a ‘Sustainability Conference’: “We chose Grasse as location for our ‘Sustainability’ FlavourDay’ with a clear purpose: For many years, many of the best loved tastes have come from here. You can almost feel the legacy being transmitted from generation to generation. This attests to the importance of ‘Sustainability’ for the past, present and the future of our industry. This goes beyond market expectations. This forms an inherent part of our DNA within the flavour industry”.

The conference started with an update on the European Union’s (EU) initiatives related to ‘Sustainability’. Ms. Julie Girling, Member of the European Parliament (MEP), presented the European Parliament actions in this field, while also acknowledging the role of ‘Sustainability’ for the flavour industry: “The flavour industry is one of those industries with a longstanding commitment to ‘Sustainability’, think about the connection with the soil, the connection with the tradition. Everyone has an interest in making sure that the industry thrives, and you cannot do that if you are not prepared to put in place ‘Sustainability’ actions”.

The European Commission also provided its insights with a video from Mr. Kęstutis Sadauskas, Director of Circular Economy and Green Growth at the Directorate General for Environment. Mr. Sadauskas explained how the Grasse FlavourDay provides the opportunity to share current initiatives and reflects on the key role of ‘Sustainability’ in the economy: “We cannot do without ‘Sustainability’. Not only for environmental reasons, but also because it brings economic benefits.

Rooted in the past and looking to the future

The flavour industry is focused on ‘Sustainability’ for both, its historical tradition, and its commitment to the future. The International Organization of the Flavor Industry (IOFI) and the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) have embarked on the development of a joint ‘Flavour and Fragrance Sustainability Initiative’.

Sven Ballschmiede, Executive Director of IOFI, presented the preliminary structure of the joint initiative to the members and external stakeholders. He noted that the planned initiative builds on the ‘Sustainability’ values that have always been a part of the traditions of the global, regional and local enterprises.

Similar to previous FlavourDays around Europe, the main topic of the day covered food trends, and what drives consumer’s choice in the context of ‘Sustainability’. Lu Ann Williams, co-founder and Director of Innovation Director at Innova Insight Markets, highlighted a variety of concepts that consumers associate with ‘Sustainability’: “We certainly had interesting discussions about how ‘Sustainability’ fits into the flavour industry. This is going to be a big conversation for the next 10-15 years” she said.

From flowers to food applications

How can the flavour industry translate ‘Sustainability’ into food applications? The answer came at the end of the conference with the FlavourDays ateliers and cocktail. Attendees found locally sourced flowers transformed into syrups and they could taste them in the cocktails or take the syrups home with them for cooking. The FlavourDay also offered a wide range of flavourings in food applications, while participants could learn more about these ingredients and how their health, safety and environmental impacts can be measured.  

Alexander Mohr, EFFA Executive Director, was very pleased with the result of the event: “The Grasse FlavourDay continued a tradition of its own. The speakers provided inspiring insights and the ateliers again proved to be a huge success, and they allowed participants to discover ‘in practice’ what ‘Sustainability’ means for the flavour industry”. The Grasse FlavourDay took place after the European Flavour Association General Assembly, which presented the achievements of the association during 2018 and gave an outlook for 2019.

The FlavourDay concept has won an award for ‘Best Implementation of a brand across different markets’ by Transform Awards. Make sure to join and follow the next FlavourDays! November 8th in Berlin and November 22nd in Paris.

For more information and pictures: http://effa.eu/flavourdays/grasse_flavourday

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