The head of the Canadian Cosmetics, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CCTFA), Darren Praznik, has spoken of the increasing need for international regulatory alignment in the face of the rising ‘global consumer’.
In an exclusive interview with Cosmetics Design, the CEO explains that with the increasing prominence of an international market place, consumers are increasingly expecting standards of cosmetic safety to match up across the globe.
“If there’s one thing that’s come out of the modern integrated world, it’s that consumers everywhere are expecting that when they buy products they will be safe, regulated products,” he states.
His comments followed the recently-held ICCR-8 meeting, the eighth annual discussion forum for national beauty regulators from Canada, the US, the EU and Japan.
“We are moving closer to having a global consumer,” Praznik asserts. “So the expectations on safety are higher than they’ve ever been.”
Praznik explains this increasingly shared consumer mentality, internationally and across consumer goods industries.
“We’ve seen the internationalisation of retailing,” he notes, pinning this on two key factors: the increase of consumer travel, and the rise of the internet.
“People travel in greater numbers and in greater frequency than ever before, so they are purchasing goods and services in different jurisdictions,” he says. “They have the internet; they communicate in ways they never have before. They have media everywhere.”
Fluid national boundaries
In keeping with this global consumer trend, the rigid national boundaries of individual countries have started to shift, Praznik observes.
A keen advocate for greater international cooperation and coordination, he calls up the European Union as a prime example of increasingly fluid national boundaries.
“A consumer in Germany doesn’t expect to have a different quality product than in Great Britain, or Ireland, or Italy, or Poland,” he notes, stating that this has a huge bearing on cosmetics regulation.
With the rise of the global consumer, Praznik asserts, “we’re seeing an increasing expectation that a product will have equal safety wherever it’s bought”.
The ICCR summit responds to this rising demand, he notes, and is well placed to do so, as its six participating jurisdictions (including the currently observing China and Brazil), represent “over 60% of the world’s cosmetics sales.”
The meetings address the issue of international regulatory alignment, on such key industry issues as allergens, nanotechnology and testing alternatives. It also offers the bodies an opportunity to consolidate expertise and strengthen their individual capabilities through sharing resources, Praznik notes.
“By coming together at this table, they are able to share experts - not only among regulators, but access those within industry, other stakeholders, and other third-party members.”
“They’re able to do it in a very efficient and effective manner, that we would not necessarily be able to do in isolation,” he concludes.