IFEAT Communiqué – 16th December 2020
Message from the IFEAT Executive Chairman
As the year draws to a close, I would like to take the opportunity to say how much I have appreciated my first year as Chairman of the IFEAT Executive Committee and reflect on a few of our highlights.
It probably goes without saying that IFEAT is a membership organisation. Members deliver the objectives of the institution, with professionals supporting their mission. Before I begin on some of our various initiatives, I would therefore like to recognise the tremendous dedication and commitment of the various supporters of IFEAT.
I thank every member of the Executive Committee for their regular attendance and participation in the processes of the Federation’s work. Their substantial contributions have been vital to the work of IFEAT this year and they have delivered thoughtful, detailed guidance that has provided the foundations to continuously improve the work of the Federation, while freely giving of their time, resources and expertise. They have been a pleasure to work with and I am very proud to be associated with them.
I also want to acknowledge our small but perfectly formed and tightly knit supporting staff and consultant team of enthusiastic, talented individuals who deal with both operational and substantive matters: together, you are demonstrating your commitment to supporting IFEAT members as they work to achieve their goals, and accomplishing big initiatives on a global scale. Thank you for your invaluable efforts and proactivity. It is a great privilege to lead a self-motivated and highly competent team like ours.
This year really required the IFEAT team to have their thinking hats on! This I say considering our milestones were equaled by predicaments which clearly tested our patience and characters and challenged us all in ways that we could never have imagined. The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing various lockdowns raised the moral dilemma of protecting human health versus saving the operations and incomes of businesses.
Some of the primary areas that the IFEAT team focused on this past year include:
A large part of IFEAT’s activities is hosting an annual conference which has become an invaluable and unmissable business exchange forum for our industry and ancillary enterprises. Unfortunately, we had to dismantle the planned Berlin Conference and postpone it till next year. The change has had a knock-on effect on the conferences that were already well planned for the five following years. Throughout most of 2020, much effort has gone into re-scheduling these physical events at the least cost possible. By popular demand, we then set out to plan IFEAT’s first Virtual Conference for January 2021. The speaker programme has been published and features a line-up of professional contributors talking about contemporary issues. (My gratitude to all these contributors.) Furthermore, the platform offers participants virtual booths to network and over 500 meetings have already been set up among the participants on the platform. If you haven’t already done so, join us and let us keep and move the spirit of IFEAT online.
We continue to boost our digital framework with the most contemporary tools available to us for members, stakeholders and collaborators to enhance their interactive engagement with IFEAT. While these technical developments are a prerequisite for any institution nowadays, they are also ensuring IFEAT’s capacity to grow its conferencing capacity to an events hub where we can proudly host an array of events from webinars, meetings, exhibitions, etc.
There is an African proverb that states: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.” Our increasingly proactive interaction and partnerships with scientific, regulatory and industry bodies, has also continued apace. It lays the basis for our wider role and develops into a keystone of our value proposition to members.
IFEAT is positioning itself as the training facilitator for the industry and embarking on the development of future generations of professionals, being critical for the long-term sustainability of our industry.
So, despite the particular hurdles that the global pandemic poses, we are collectively proving our resolve and perseverance in advancing the most vital priorities of the Federation. I will update you further during my opening remarks of the Virtual Conference beginning on 19th January 2021. Our activities are published in our Newsletter (IFEATWORLD), website, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages, in addition to other direct interaction with our membership and communities (e.g. IFEAT ChatRoom). I encourage you to read the updates on these platforms and those we mail you. If you see something that you are interested in, please get involved. If you see a significant space that is not covered – tell us!
After the tumultuous events of this year, one could be forgiven for expecting something of a hiatus in 2021. As we look towards the future though, there is no other way to state that 2021 will bring much hope decorated with its own challenges. The pace isn’t necessarily going to slacken. Uncertainties surrounding the success rate of the new COVID vaccines; the implementation of BREXIT, etc. suggest that our continued vigilance will be required to uphold our collective strength. Whatever the new year holds for us, while there is still much to do and, we will be faced with further challenges, I can’t help but be optimistic about the year to come. It is truly heartening to experience the passion and courage the members of IFEAT have displayed and continue to show with remarkable contributions towards sustaining our industry through their ability to find solutions and thoughtful leadership.
I look forward to staying connected and building upon all the great efforts that so many of you have contributed to. None of IFEAT’s achievements would have been possible without the contributions from its members. On behalf of the Executive Committee, staff and contractors, I wish to express my sincere appreciation for your continued patronage. We are grateful for the confidence and support we continue to enjoy from you, our key stakeholders. Please stay with us and please keep supporting a thriving, professional essential oils and aroma trades industry across the globe.
From my family to yours, let me now wish you all a healthy, safe and prosperous New Year!
See you online at our VIRTUAL CONFERENCE 19th – 21st January, 2021!
Hussein A. Fakhry
IFEAT Executive Committee Chairman
Find out more about IFEAT
History of the 40 years of IFEAT!
Read Peter Greenhalgh’s “History of IFEAT” series. The full version in a book was given as a gift at the Athens Fortieth Anniversary Conference 2017. Each of these articles has been included in recent issues of IFEATWORLD.