IOFI celebrates its 50th birthday

Oct 22, 2019
On 10 October 2019, IOFI turned 50 years old, marking half a century of successful collaboration between its member associations and member companies. Around 110 members and guests gathered in Brussels to celebrate the past achievements and to discuss future challenges for the global flavor industry. The event was held at Hotel Steigenberger Wiltcher's, right after IOFI’s 60th General Assembly in Brussels.

“If you want to go fast go alone – if you want to go far go together.” IOFI President Jean-Mane quoted this African proverb in his welcome speech, to describe the harmonious interaction between companies and national associations that has always prevailed in the organization. It is this very spirit of collaboration among the members that led to IOFI’s position as key repository of the science behind flavors and to IOFI’s main achievements, such as the establishment of the Global Science Program and the IOFI Code of Practice. Indeed, IOFI’s role as the science provider for the global flavor industry has been pivotal in supporting the safe and proper use of flavorings.

While celebrating past accomplishments, Jean Mane noted that shaping the future of the flavor industry will require concerted efforts towards attaining the regulatory harmonization globally. Sustainability, consumer desire for natural products and clean labels are only a few of the challenges that IOFI will successfully tackle by leading ambitious initiatives and championing best practices in the industry.

With this outlook, Jean Mane set the scene for the panel discussion, moderated by Katy Askew from Food Navigator and kicked-off with a keynote speech on ‘The Future of Food: Challenges and Opportunities in the Global Food System’ given by René Lammers, CSO of PepsiCo

Mr Lammers discussed the main food industry trends: full engagement of consumers, making global products locally relevant, the demand for clean labels and wellness benefits, whilst operating in a regulatory environment which is more fragmented and demanding than ever.

The keynote speech was followed by a panel discussion, with Mr Gilles Andrier, CEO at Givaudan, Mr Gilbert Ghostine, CEO at Firmenich, Mr John Hallagan, FEMA Senior Advisor, René Lammers, CSO at PepsiCo, Mr Jean Mane, IOFI President and CEO at V. MANE FILS and Mr Maurice Wagner, Former Executive Director of IOFI.

Sustainability was highlighted as a major driver of food trends, and the main conclusion emerging from the discussion was the need for a common commitment to strive for collective industry initiatives. Jean Mane summed it up well saying ‘For our industry, sustainability represents a new imperative’.

With the spirit of cooperation amongst its members and their ability to join forces for the benefit of the entire membership, IOFI looks to the future with optimism and confidence, ready to face the challenges of the next 50 years.