Exports of Essential Oils from the Caribbean to Europe Increasing

Exports of Essential Oils from the Caribbean to Europe Increasing

Sugar Town Organics

Natural cosmetics are growing at an annual rate of 8-10% in the EU

MADRIDIt is becoming increasingly common to find natural cosmetic products in large retail stores, perfume stores and supermarkets.

In Europe, the cosmetics market is valued at 77 billion euros, making it the largest market in the world and, within this, natural cosmetic products account for approximately 5% of the market.

The sector is currently growing at an annual rate of 8-10%. The UK’s certified natural and organic cosmetics market is at an all-time high as sustainable shoppers continue to drive the market for green beauty.

Around 50% of British consumers favour cosmetics made from natural ingredients – the highest figure in Europe.  In 2018, sales of certified organic and natural beauty products grew for an eighth consecutive year to reach £86.5m, up 14% on the previous year.

The European Union is not only the largest supplier of cosmetics in the world but also the main source of demand for natural ingredients for developing these products, particularly plant-based oils and fats.

Around 45% of EU imports of essential oils come from developing countries. “In 2018, Caribbean countries (CARICOM) exported essential oils valued at over 32 million euros to the EU, which represents 8% of all imports to the region”, indicates Damie Sinanan, the competitiveness and export promotion manager of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export). “We are seeing this demand increase year by year, in large part due to greater concern about sustainability and ethics on the part of European consumers.

In the past year, exports of essential oils from CARICOM to the EU have grown by 33%”. The UK imports €679K of essentials oils from CARICOM.

Consumers’ growing concern about the side effects of chemical products, dissemination of information about the benefits of natural ingredients and the rise in ethical consumption are some of the factors driving the growth of the natural cosmetics segment within the industry.

Four out of ten (41%) British females frequently check the label on the packaging about ingredients of the cosmetics they use. The common concern concentrates on potential risks of harmful chemicals to human health and the possibility of skin irritation.

CASTOR OIL AND COCONUT OIL, KEY INGREDIENTS IN NATURAL COSMETICS

 The Caribbean is not only famous for its heavenly beaches and rum but also for the natural ingredients produced in this region.

Specifically, Jamaican black castor oil and coconut oil are two of its star ingredients. The first is used in moisturizing or hydrating products for dry skin, as well as to strengthen hair and prevent hair, eyebrow and eyelash loss.

Coconut oil, for its part, is used in moisturizers for the body, lips and scalp, as exfoliants, and even for preventing the appearance of premature wrinkles and spots, thanks to its antibiotic and anti-microbial properties that protect against UV rays and free radicals.

“Apart from the health benefits of these oils and other natural ingredients many Caribbean companies sell in the EU, they also work hard to make products as sustainable as possible, from production to packaging, with the aim of not generating waste or harming the environment”, comments Sinanan.

Consumers are demanding that companies use less plastic, more recyclable materials and eco-friendly products and packaging.

In fact, some of the region’s best-selling products in Europe are those that are fully biodegradable, like the soaps from BahamaSpa™, and those made without cruelty to animals and that support eco-trade of local farmers in the Caribbean, like those of True Shade Cosmetics Limited and Sugar Town Organics”.

Exports of Essential Oils from the Caribbean to Europe Increasing

BahamaSpa

This year, eighteen Caribbean companies in the cosmetics and nutraceutical industry will participate in the 4th CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum, which is being held from 26 to 28 September in Frankfurt.

This event, organized by Caribbean Export together with the European Union and the German Development Agency (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH), aims to promote trade relations between the countries of the Caribbean and Europe, as well as to raise the visibility of the natural products and ingredients that originate in the Caribbean region.

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