Companies attending the TFWA World Exhibition and Conference in Cannes earlier this month made it clear that they are serious about working towards a more sustainable future for duty free and travel retail and the industry as a whole was encouraged by presentations made at the TFWA WE’s Opening conference on Monday 30 September, which reinforced an urgency to act now.
Discussions had with airports, airlines, cruise operators, retailers, distributors, suppliers and brands during the event – in addition to the rallying call issued by TFWA President, Alain Maingreaud on stage during the plenary conference – clearly demonstrate a paradigm shift within the industry towards a more sustainable future for the DF&TR industry.
The 2019 TFWA event was clearly a watershed moment when it emerged that almost every conversation was either centred or touched on the topic of sustainability in travel retail.
Maingreaud’s speech, hailing a more concerted drive by TFWA and the industry on sustainability, was followed by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s insightful and thought-provoking comments on the topic.
LUXURY BRANDS WILL ‘LOSE OUT’, SAYS JONES
Finally, guest speaker David Jones hammered the point home with a wake-up call to all luxury and premium brands, warning them that if they did not change and adopt a more sustainable approach to business – through packaging and product sourcing – they would lose their appeal with consumers.
Today’s millennial consumers, Jones explained, will vote with their feet and wallet and stop purchasing brands if they fail to meet consumer expectations on sustainability.
This trend echoes TRBusiness’ own experience both during the week in Cannes as well as in discussions over recent weeks.
The recently announced Travel Retail Sustainability Forum (TRSF), alongside co-founder Duty Free Innovation, and the Travel Retail Plastic Pledge, has been welcomed with great enthusiasm by airports, retailers, cruise and ferry companies, course brands and industry trade associations.
JOIN THE MOVEMENT NOW
Over 300 industry representatives have pledged support for the initiatives so far, signing up to the Forum’s social media groups on LinkedIn and Facebook and committing to the Travel Retail Plastic Pledge.
TR Plastic Pledge signatories and TRSF members now include Lagardére Travel Retail, MSC Cruises and Dubai Airports in addition individuals from many of the leading global duty free & travel retail operators.
The reaction to this pioneering coordinated approach on sustainability in travel retail has been overwhelmingly hailed as a much-needed service for the industry.
A number of influential stakeholders have committed to join the TRSF steering committee, which will help coordinate the various initiatives the Forum will be undertaking to help drive the reduction in single-use plastics across the global travel retail sector.
It will also ensure that alternatives are indeed more environmentally friendly and not just a ‘greenwashing’ exercise.
More information on the TRSF steering committee and future plans will be released in the near future…watch this space.