Trans-Mediterranean Cooperation for Natural Raw Materials

Contact Author Jean-J. Etienne
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The 2nd International Congress of Aromatic & Medicinal Plants, held last November in Hammamet, Tunisia, marked the formalization of cooperation between the France-based competitive cluster Perfumes, Aromas, Fragrances and Savors (PASS) and the Tunisian Association of Medicinal Plants (Association Tunisienne des Plantes Medicinales; ATPM). The move followed a similar signing between PASS and the Association for the Development of Aromatic and Medicinal Plants (Association pour le Developpement des Plantes Aromatiques et Medicinales; ADEPAM) in Morocco in 2009. According to PASS, "The medium term goal is to step up cooperation to foster the emergence of a Mediterranean Federation of Aromatic and Medicinal Plants that will bring together all the stakeholders in the industrial basin," serving the flavor, fragrance and cosmetic sectors. Here, Jean-J. Etienne provides a report from the region. -Editor

The combined efforts of Rachid Chemli (chairman of ATPM) and Patrick Pellerin resulted in a successful congress that brought together the resources of ATPM, UTICA (Essential Oils Producers Chamber), the Tunisian Offi ce of Thermalism and the investment of PASS Pôle. The event hosted more than 300 attendees from Tunisia, France, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Italy and beyond, and featured three days of presentations devoted to aromatic and medicinal plants, “Practical Clinical Phytotherapy in Tunisia,” workshops, and private businessto- business meetings (arranged by Ghita Benkirane of Art & Management).

The gathering also included more than 70 poster presentations. M. Boussaïd (INSA Tunis) and M. Touayi (Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture) discussed current and future trends in the development of aromatic and medicinal plants in Tunisia, providing a global overview on an updated inventory of cultivated and wild species. S. Maamer (Bio Control & Certifi cation) discussed organic cultivation. N. Bouzouaïa addressed the launch of Sidi-Thabet Bio-Technopole. C. Belkhoja (UTICA) outlined the major Tunisian natural products in a general overview, while F. Durand (LMR/IFF) focused on neroli, consultant M. Derbesy discussed fl oral waters, consultant P. Pellerin and C. Monin (Acphytaroma) presented on rosemary and carnosic acid, and L. Zourgui (ASSA) discussed cactus and its properties.