Tracey Raso, Accord Chair and Regional Managing Director Pacific of Revlon Australia reflects on the value our industry delivers and Accord’s priorities to optimise opportunities for sustainable and productive industry growth
“I was honoured to be appointed Chair of Accord Australasia mid-2018. Having been part of the beauty industry for decades, and with Revlon a long-term member of Accord – for 14 years in fact! – it is a privilege to be serving in this role and to continue to help shape the direction of our industry body, as it in turn serves its members and strives to enhance the business environment in which we all operate.
I would like to highlight some of the Accord’s key focus areas in 2019 and beyond, and how these are geared to further strengthen the beauty industry for the opportunities and challenges ahead.
Accord’s key focus areas in 2019
Member Value remains a paramount goal. As part of this, Accord will increase training options, information alerts and networking sessions for members. Our aim is to be an indispensable resource for all our member businesses.
Evidence-based and ethical advocacy also remains a core value of Accord. The Accord Board has long been concerned about the lack of policy recognition for the extensive reach of our sector’s products – especially as our industry is both an essential market for key upstream industries as well as providing vital inputs for many important downstream industries such as retailing, wellness and beauty.
So, to assist governments in gaining a deeper understanding of our industry’s economic contribution and jobs creation role, Accord is commissioning the first major economic value-add study for our industry.
This will be a key piece as Accord spearheads action on our goal for a national policy environment that leads to sustainable and productive industry growth across our sector. It will provide tangible data on how our industry feeds economic activity and supports jobs in other industries.
Beyond the balance sheets
However, it is also important to remember that much of the value the beauty industry goes well beyond retail sales figures and company balance sheets: community wellbeing and public health protection are a fundamental outcome of our industry’s products. There are so many examples that could be highlighted, but let me focus on sunscreens and the tangible value they deliver. Melanoma is the fourth most common cancer in Australia with around 14,000 cases every year. According to the Cancer Council of Australia, sunburn causes 95 percent of melanomas, meaning that this devastating disease is preventable. Sunscreens play a role here, offering personal protection against dangerous sun damage as well as helping decrease the enormous economic burden of skin cancer.
Therefore, Accord will also continue to focus on communicating our societal value amidst media ‘noise’ and populist concerns concerning our industry and its products.
We have a long history of taking the lead on important sustainability and consumer education initiatives. For example, two years ago we launched the sun safety Sunsible website (sunsible.org.au) encouraging consumers to use sunscreen correctly. This year, we followed up with the new WipeSmart site (wipesmart.org.au), encouraging consumers to stop disposing of baby wipes, facial wipes and homecare wipes down the toilet. And our Furphies website (furphies.org.au) has received international praise as one of the top sources of correct information about cosmetic ingredients.
And of course, the Look Good Feel Better cancer patient support program stands out for its 29 years of assistance to more 135,000 Australians. Core to Look Good Feel Better is the well-documented boost it gives to the mental wellbeing of those undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy. The program relies on the ongoing and unstinting generosity of our industry and its partners: the financial contribution, product donations and time donated represent a significant injection to community wellbeing and have become an invaluable economic asset for the nation.
One way to quantify the value of Accord’s various initiatives is to consider how much they would cost for government to implement them instead. Noting that such savings of government funds collected by taxation due to our industry programs means either funding of other essential community services or no increased taxation burden.
I look forward to continuing work with Accord’s committed Board and Secretariat as, together, we strive tirelessly to enhance and improve our industry’s business environment and for recognition of our industry’s positive role in society”.
Accord Australasia is the peak body representing companies operating in the cosmetic, fragrance, personal care and toiletries sector – from multinationals to small Australian-owned businesses, importers to local manufacturers.
For any information or membership details contact: www.accord.asn.au