Sustainability and responsibility the key themes of ETRC Business Forum

By Andrew Pentol |


Nigel Keal, President, European Travel Retail Confederation.

Sustainability and responsibility were the key themes of the European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC) Annual Business Forum which took place in Amsterdam yesterday (23 January).

Michael Rosschou, a specialist in start-ups, sustainability and social impact, emphasised the changing nature of the world during a compelling keynote. Companies were urged to take ‘concrete actions’ to support UN Sustainability Development goals or risk losing customers.

The 150 attendees were presented with results from an exclusive study from UK-based research specialist, Pi Insight, which confirmed the increasing role of sustainability in European travel retail. According to the study, 82% of shoppers consider sustainability important when making a purchase, thereby impacting their behaviour and decision making-process.


Rosschou’s presentation was followed by a panel discussion featuring representatives from brands and retailers. Participants shared the vision and initiatives of their companies and discussed the industry’s response to various issues.

After an in-depth analysis of the ETRC Index from market research company NPD Group, delegates further considered the impact of various topics/issues on the duty free and travel retail industry. Digital labelling, Brexit and challenges to product categories such as liquor, tobacco and confectionery were all discussed.

Nigel Keal, President, ETRC commented:  “We are in a period of great change and change brings opportunity. The sustainability debate is of this generation and at the same time we are presented with unique opportunities as the UK relationship with the EU is recast. How we respond to these developments will shape our industry for years to come.”


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