IFEAT 2008: Montreal, Canada

“May you live in interesting times,” goes the old proverb, and certainly the essential oil and aroma trades have no shortage of dynamic market conditions, regulatory forces, or consumer and customer needs. This month, the International Federation of Essential Oil and Aroma Trades will gather at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada, to address production in flavor and fragrance markets, global developments in the essential oil and aroma chemical industries, and environmental and regulatory issues.

Chinese Supplies: the Olympics Fallout

The flavor and fragrance industry has developed an undeniable dependence upon Chinese goods, which makes that government’s targeted bans on key exports around the Olympics particularly troublesome. (Read Barry Dowles’ analysis of this and other raw material supply issues on Page 42.) Exacerbating the situation, China temporarily closed many plants across the country in order to cut pollution. Though the event is over, the fallout from the restrictions will linger. Supplies will continue to be tight and prices are on the rise, as evidenced by a recent David Cookson & Co. report on dwindling vanillin supplies. These challenges are further inflated by growing consumer bases in China and India, which boast middle classes that outsize the total US population. The competition for raw materials will only grow.

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