New IOFI President Howard Smith, Jr. Sees Opportunity for the Flavor Industry

Dec 14, 2016
Brussels, Belgium – December 14, 2016 – The International Organization of the Flavor Industry (IOFI) named Howard Smith, Jr. its new president, succeeding Hans Holger Gliewe of Symrise AG, at its October 2016 General Assembly meeting in Vienna.
Smith is a fourth generation flavor industry executive who is president of Brooklyn, NY-based Virginia Dare Extract Company and represents the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association of the US (FEMA) on the IOFI Board. Having followed in the footsteps of three prior generations in his family as FEMA president, Smith becomes the first association delegate to head up the IOFI Board, comprised of representatives from the largest flavor companies and major flavor associations from around the globe.

As president, Smith is responsible for guiding the ten-person Board in strategy development and implementation and organizational oversight, working closely with the association’s Executive Director Sven Ballschmiede. For ten years, he has been involved in many IOFI initiatives, including a major restructuring of the organization and serving as its treasurer and vice president.

With his wealth of experience, he sees great opportunities for the global organization. “IOFI continues to invest in the scientific studies required to assess the safety of flavorings. We support innovative approaches that are on the cutting edge of scientific research in this area.” He continues, “In the regulatory arena, we actively support emerging markets where standards are being developed – this is a way to share best practices while fostering the harmonization of flavor regulations to promote global trade.” He adds, “We are also investing in our communications strategy and activities so that we can tell our story effectively to important stakeholders including consumers, non- governmental organizations and regulators.”

IOFI has a small, highly skilled Secretariat staff supported by experts from its membership. Smith reports, “Last year, more than 150 volunteers from 23 countries contributed in IOFI meetings and working groups. They bring passion, expertise and broad global perspective to our discussions and decisions about science, advocacy and communications."