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Beyond organic: companies’ responsible initiatives IN the spotlight at natexpo 2021

While consumers are keen on buying organic products, nowadays they also expect companies to go a step further and make serious commitments in terms of social responsibility. In response to these expectations which have intensified throughout the Covid crisis, Natexpo has invented a new space purely dedicated to “Eco-Products” and “Eco-Services”, which will be inaugurated at its Paris edition on the 24, 25 and 26 October 2021.

In view of the current and emerging trends in zero waste, upcycling, local purchasing, decarbonisation, seasonal food, fair remuneration of all links in the chain, etc., companies face multiple issues, whatever sector they may be in: food, cosmetics, hygiene, cleaning products, textiles, etc. 

This new sector therefore brings together in a single place an offering of products and services which was already on display in Natexpo’s different sectors. In addition to the Eco-Products/ Eco-Services sector, The Lab, founded in 2018, hosts a growing number of inventive start-ups who innovate in this field.

Natexpo thus represents an excellent opportunity to discover the responsible solutions developed by companies in the organic sector: clear standout features to rise above the competition. From production to retail, all the links in the chain have a role to play to provide consumers with the guarantees that they expect.

With seven months to go before the show opens, this new sector and The Lab have already recorded a lot of registrations, with participants including the label “1% for the Planet”, which allows companies to donate 1% of their turnover to environmental charities. This success reflects the dynamism of the organic sector in the area of sustainable development, an integral part of its DNA. 

Upcycling, zero waste and anti-waste: 3 underlying trends to discover 

The new Eco-Products/Eco-Services sector at Natexpo fulfils consumers’ desire for transparency, as they wish to be able to place their trust in both the products they buy and the companies from which they buy them. To date, many committed companies have decided to exhibit their specificities in the area of social responsibility. These are mainly companies from the food, textile and personal hygiene/cosmetics sectors. Together with the 20 or so start-ups registered for The Lab, they represent a wide diversity of initiatives and predominantly focus on zero-waste, anti-waste, and upcycling to preserve the planet’s resources.

Upcycling consists of recovering products or materials that have been deemed of no value, to make objects or products of higher quality. This trend is represented in particular by “Ramen tes drêches” which sells noodles made from spent grain, the cereal by-product of beer brewing; “Cocomiette”, which brews its beers from the breadcrumbs made from unsold bread, and “Le Green Griot” which makes eco-designed textile products from recycled textiles.

In the area of anti-waste, where the aim is to use the entirety of the products placed on the shelf, visitors will discover the company “Clever Beauty”, which offers nail varnishes fitted with a top that can dip down into the bottom of the bottle, leading to up to 35% of extra product being extracted compared with traditional nail varnish bottles. They can also meet the company “Zero-Gâchis” which also illustrates this trend with its concept that helps retailers to manage their near-sell by date products.

Initiatives in the field of zero-waste will also be very visible this year at Natexpo. Companies have developed a multitude of reusable products to shift away from disposables. Many initiatives are proposed in the food sector: “Pro by Innovo” offers still and sparkling water fountains to avoid plastic bottles, “Another Way” and “L’Atelier Miel/ Apifilm” have dreamt up an alternative to plastic cling film, “Les Artistes”, “Gapajoe” and “ALR Cooperation” make reusable cups, flasks and bottles, “Uzaje” has designed a solution to wash and dry food containers to enable them to be reused. In the personal hygiene area, there are also a lot of new products with “Last Object” and its reusable cotton tips, “J’aime mes dents” with its bamboo toothbrushes sold loose, shampoos by “Lao” sold in deposit-return aluminium bottles, and Hamac, a manufacturer of washable nappies and bathing suits for babies.

What our exhibitors say: 

innovative companies working to promote eco-responsibility 

Erlend du Réau, co-founder of Sorewards, an exhibitor in The Lab

“We founded our company in 2019 to offer a new kind of gift voucher to companies: a voucher which bears values. It is universal, meaning that it can be used in retail chains and local shops; it is supportive, since it offers an opportunity to donate to charity. Additionally, if it is not entirely redeemed at the end of its validity period, the sums are returned to the company that had bought it, which may then decide to donate the sums to charity.

“We believe that companies have a role to play as citizens in society. They can make people aware to good causes, change mentalities. With our positive impact gift voucher, we enable companies to go further than corporate philanthropy, by involving their employees, customers and why not their partners in their sustainability approach. There are tangible benefits, because we inform the donors of the use of the sums that they donate to the charities. 

“We decided to take part in Natexpo because we strongly believe that organic companies have very strong values to share. In addition to marketing organic products, most of them are involved in eco-friendly initiatives. They are attentive to their natural and human environment. Our gift voucher is a way for them to share in concrete terms the values they hold dear with their employees and their customers.”

Nadia Auclair, CEO of Carbiolice, an exhibitor in the new Eco-Products/Eco-Services sector: 

Our start-up, Carbiolice, has formulated an innovative additive christened Evanesto® which enables packaging made from plant-based plastics, even rigid ones, to biodegrade into compost at ordinary temperatures, and therefore also in domestic compost bins. Last year, we took part in The Lab at Natexpo and we met a great many brands interested in making the transition to the circular economy for their packaging. This year is quite a special one for our company, because our solution is today a commercial reality: by joining the New Eco-Products/Eco-Services sector, we wish to bring its promise to reality and allow stakeholders on the organic market to choose compostability so as to care for the environment… right through to their packaging! 

NATEXPO 2021: an all-round view of the new organic trends

Just as the companies represented in the Eco-Products/Eco-Services sector and The Lab are diverse in nature, all the segments in the organic sector will be represented at this new edition: food, ingredients and raw materials, health food, dietary supplements, cosmetics and personal hygiene, household and personal products and services, services and equipment for retail and brands. Highly attuned to the expectations of professionals, NATEXPO represents a premium meeting place to allow brands, buyers and decision-makers to engage in dialogue and develop their business. Over the space of three days, the show will offer special features, expert advice and talks to get fully up-to-date on the latest news in the organic world in France and internationally, most notably through the NATEXPO Awards which pay tribute to the latest innovations on the market.

NATEXPO 2021: also available online 

In parallel with the physical trade show and to enable a larger number of international and domestic visitors to view the range of products on show, NATEXPO will also be visible online. This virtual set-up will give them access to all the exhibitors physically present at the show and even exchange through a direct messaging function with sound and video feeds. 

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