A Conversation with Alain D’haese

Secretary General of the European Aerosol Association FEA, Brussels (Belgium)

AEROSOL EUROPE: Mr. D’haese, dear Alain, the FEA Global Aerosol Events will take place on September 23-24, 2020 in Lisbon. Are preparations already underway? 

Alain D’haese: We started working on FEAaerosol2020 in 2018 and preparations are moving full speed ahead. Bookings for the exhibition are still increasing regularly. The FEA Congress will now be called Aerosol Today, and its program is well-advanced but still under development. The FEA Awards categories have been revisited, the entry form is already available, and an independent jury will be soon revealed.

Registration for the exhibition and the conference is also already open, we invite readers to have a look at our website:

AEROSOL EUROPE: Can you tell our readers how many exhibitors and visitors you are expecting in Lisbon?

Alain D’haese: Around 1,500 key industry decision-makers and 100 exhibitors representing the full aerosol packaging supply chain are expected at FEAerosol2020 in Lisbon. Free entrance is offered to exhibitors, their colleagues, and their guests.

AEROSOL EUROPE: This year there were a lot of aerosol exhibitions and congresses worldwide. Next year there will be significantly fewer exhibitions and congresses. Does that “help”?

Alain D’haese: We are not thinking that way. Whatever the intention of the other events, FEA is dedicated solely to the aerosol industry and wishes to provide essential insights into the key issues affecting the aerosol industry, as well as outstanding networking opportunities for brand owners, fillers, and suppliers, so they can discuss the latest trends and the broader business environment.

AEROSOL EUROPE: Can you tell us a little bit about the lecture program?

Alain D’haese: As I already mentioned, the FEA Congress will now be called Aerosol Today, and it will focus on key issues such as recycling and e-commerce, as well as original topics presented by relevant speakers. More information will be available on in the weeks to come.

AEROSOL EUROPE: In rough terms: in what way will BREXIT have an impact on the European aerosol market? And perhaps on the congress next year in Lisbon?

Alain D’haese: Following the recent general elections in the UK, Brexit will happen. There are still many uncertainties and there will certainly be some nasty surprises despite the transition period. Since FEAerosol2020 is a global event, I do not think there will be an impact, but discussions on Brexit will certainly animate the corridors.

AEROSOL EUROPE: What is the current situation regarding aerosol production in Europe?

Alain D’haese: European aerosol production is growing at a slow pace and we are witnessing certain shifts of production among European countries.

AEROSOL EUROPE: How high do you estimate the growth potential in the European aerosol market to be in the medium term?

Alain D’haese: The European aerosol market is a mature market. If the industry wants to significantly increase its growth, new product categories and new aerosol positioning will need to appear on the market.

AEROSOL EUROPE: Which topics urgently need to be addressed within the European aerosol industry?

Alain D’haese: With the recently published European Green Deal of the new European Commission, the circular economy is a key priority. In March 2020, the Commission will adopt a new circular economy action plan including a ‘sustainable products’ policy, the intention of which is to support the circular design of all products based on common principles. It will prioritize reducing and reusing materials before recycling them. It will foster new business models and set minimum requirements to prevent environmentally harmful products from being placed on the EU market. Extended producer responsibility will also be reinforced. Packaging recyclability and effective recycling will be key elements for the future.

AEROSOL EUROPE: Where do you see aerosol products heading in the near future?

Alain D’haese: I feel the aerosol industry will continue meeting consumers’ needs and expectations, anticipating, for example, the consumers’ ‘greener and healthier’ trend.

AEROSOL EUROPE: What goals have you set for yourself in the near future?

Alain D’haese: My short- and long-term goals are the same: be happy.

AEROSOL EUROPE: Mr. D’haese, dear Alain, thank you for this conversation.

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