IFEAT 2019 BALI CONFERENCE 29th September – 3rd October 2019

IFEAT’s first Conference in Indonesia was a great success. It was events in Indonesia in 1976 that led to the formation of IFEAT and despite Indonesia’s major role as a supplier of natural essential oils this was the first IFEAT Conference to be held in Indonesia.

The Conference was held at the Mulia Beach Resort Hotel in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, from 29th September to October 3rd, 2019. This proved to be an excellent location, not only did this large resort overlooking the ocean provide an excellent lecture hall for the extensive lecture programme and IFEAT Business Session but also contained outstanding facilities for the large trade exhibition, held in the Grand Ballroom, the F&F workshops as well as many meeting places for networking, which is such a vital component of all IFEAT Conferences. In addition, everyone was impressed by the range of restaurants and cuisine available (including Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese and Western), as well as the large number of capable, efficient staff who always seemed to be smiling and welcoming and on hand to assist when needed. Little wonder that the hotel was recently rated the World’s Number One Beach Resort by Condé Nast. Moreover, throughout the Conference the weather was near perfect.

The theme for the 2019 Conference was Naturals in Asia and it focused on the essential oils and F&F markets in Asia, as well as addressing legislative and scientific issues. A record 1,468 delegates and 77 accompanying persons attended the Conference representing 67 different countries. As IFEAT moves from continent to continent each year, new companies and countries are attracted to attend, a clear indication that IFEAT Conferences are going from strength to strength.

Perhaps it was the Buddhist blessing just prior to the Welcome Reception that helped please the gods and ensured such a successful Conference? Following the IFEAT Executive Committee meetings on the Saturday and Sunday, the EC members participated in a blessing of the Conference at the Mulia’s Buddhist temple close to the beach. Then EC members in traditional dress were led by musicians playing traditional instruments and ladies in gorgeous traditional dress to the Welcome Reception, held in the beautiful beachfront Unity Gardens at the Mulia Resort.

Almost 1,000 people joined this traditional ice breaker for drinks, canapés and their first taste of both modern and traditional Balinese dancing, music and singing! As delegates met up with old and new friends, they were entertained by three groups. The Friends Band Bali, one of the best bands in Bali, performed a wide range of songs blending Indonesian and western music. In addition, there were two superb dance routines: the Sekar Jepun dance about the beautiful colours and shapes of the frangipani flower and the dynamic Legong Mesatya dance, a classical Balinese dance accompanied by the playing of a gamelan, a traditional Indonesian instrument. A wonderful start to the Conference.

The Conference programme was opened on Monday morning by the joint chairs of the Bali Conference, Ravi Sanganeria and Stephen Pisano. As they explained, this year’s conference format was both different and more extensive than previous years. For two hours on each of the four mornings there were lectures as well as the IFEAT Business Session. In addition, there was an extensive trade exhibition each day, as well as the usual extensive networking areas and two fragrance and flavour workshops. The afternoons were filled with a regulatory/legislative session, a scientific forum, in which new technical developments were discussed; and two round table discussions on citrus and patchouli.

The opening lecture was given by Ravi Sanganeria who made a wide-ranging presentation on Naturals in Indonesia – vital raw materials facing many challenges. Indonesia is a major source of natural essential oils and alongside a review of the key trends in production and trade of Indonesian essential oils the presentation analysed many of the micro and macro challenges that the sector faces. These included a review of the sustainability initiatives being undertaken by several F&F companies. Despite the many challenges faced, the presentation ended on a positive note arguing that with encouragement and investment Indonesia will continue not only to supply competitive, good quality, sustainable natural essential oils to the world market but also will provide an expanding source of new value-added innovative F&F ingredients.

During the morning session there were two further presentations on Indonesia. Olivier Bernard spoke on Why sustainability is a must for the future of Indonesian vanilla. The lecture included two videos, one on The story of vanilla tracing vanilla’s history. The second outlined his company’s operations in Indonesia, particularly the complex production and processing methods required to produce vanilla beans. The third presentation was on Essential oil of citronella plant from Indonesia by Natalia Pandjaitan, who discussed in detail the range of components of Indonesian citronella.

Day two of the programme started with the IFEAT AGM and Business Session. The President of IFEAT, Alastair Hitchen, introduced the topics and speakers. The 2018 IFEAT Report & Accounts, showing IFEAT’s healthy financial situation, were presented and approved by members. During the AGM, three newly elected Executive Committee members were announced, namely Alan Brown from Lebermuth (USA), Geemon Korah from Mane Kancor ingredients (India) and John Nechupadom from Plant Lipids (India). Antonella Corleone, the retiring Executive Committee Chair, provided a review of IFEAT’s activities in 2018. Among the topics highlighted were the continuing growth of membership, the success of the 2018 Cartagena Conference and Spanish Study Tour, the expanding financial support for scientific and educational activities, IFEATWORLD and the Socio-Economic Reports, and IFEAT’s Committee structure and Secretariat. She also announced that Hussein Fakhry will be taking on the mantle of Executive Committee Chair from 2019 to 2022.

The business reports began with reports on the IFEAT-supported education programmes at Reading and Plymouth Universities. Then followed the announcements of the locations for the 2020 Conference and Study Tour. The 2020 Conference will be held in Berlin, Germany at the Inter-Continental Hotel from the 11th – 15th October. The Conference Chair, Jens-Achim Protzen, presented a video giving a flavour of what the location will offer as well as announcing the Conference theme of Trade, Tradition and Modern Spirit. Then Geemon Korah made a presentation on the Indian Study Tour from 12th – 21st June 2020, when visits will be made to Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi and Assam to see the production and processing of a range of F&F ingredients, including mint and agarwood. Registration for the IST 2020 opens in mid-November.

Alastair Hitchen also made a short presentation on IFEAT. The topics covered included Executive Committee members, the continued growth of membership, new members, income and expenditure, in which it was pointed out that Executive Committee members received no travel expenses or other remuneration for their IFEAT activities.

Tuesday morning’s Conference session continued with the presentations of the IFEAT Best Student Medals. The medal recipients for the ICATS Perfumery Course was Harlem Sobrino Paredes and for the University of Reading Flavourist Course was Lucy Turner, who also made the presentation.

The 2019 IFEAT Medal Lecture: Scents of patchouli: a journey in time was given by Petrus Arifin. He provided personal perspectives and anecdotes as he traced the ups and downs of Indonesian patchouli oil production and the continual eastward re-location of growing regions in Indonesia during his lifetime spent producing, processing and trading essential oils in Sumatra.

The final presentation of the morning was by Frank Mara A personal view of essential oils: inception, distribution & validation. This entertaining and informative lecture took us on a historical tour of the discovery and practice of using essential oils in personal care, well-being and flavours from its believed inception through to the present day, specifically focusing on the three distinct pillars listed in the title.

After lunch, the focus moved to Regulatory & Legislative Developments, commencing with an introductory presentation by Jens-Achim Protzen of IFEAT The regulatory impact on an essential oil on its way through the supply and value chain, in which he traced the plethora of regulations that essential oils face as they move through the supply chain from production to trading to compounding to use in final consumer products. Then followed a further four lectures on regulatory themes:

  • The Nagoya Protocol and ABS (Access and Benefit Sharing) – regulations relevance for the F&F industry by Stephanie Paquin-Jaloux, an expert on compliance and biodiversity.
  • How RIFM will conduct the safety assessment of naturals (NCS) by Jim Romine, President of RIFM.
  • Increasing regulatory complexity and its trade implications by Sven V. Ballschmiede, Executive Director of IOFI, which included a discussion of recent unilateral trade measures and their impact on essential oils.
  • The butterfly effect by Eric Angelini of Mane, discussed various EU and other countries regulations and their impact on essential oils as a whole or in mixtures.
  • The value of fragrance – a socio-economic contribution study for the global fragrance industry by Martina Bianchini, President of IFRA, presented some of the findings of the recent collaborative work between IFRA and PwC on “the value of fragrance”.

The audience was then given a chance to question the presenters during the panel discussion on recent regulatory and legislative developments.

The IFEAT Annual Dinner was held on Tuesday evening at Taman Bhagawan, a beautiful outside location. During the cocktails and buffet meal we saw another fascinating display of Balinese and other Indonesian music and dance. Delegates were entertained with the playing of the rindik, a traditional Balinese musical instrument made from bamboo, as well as Tektekan, which combined a number of traditional instruments to create another musical work of art. Then followed a performance by Balawan, one of the fastest playing guitarists in Indonesia, playing his eight-string double neck guitar. These were followed by two amazing dance performances. First the Satya Brastha, a new dance creation, involving six lavishly attired male dancers, undertaking the re-enactment of an epic battle. Second, the Fire Dance, involved a stunning variety of dancing activities using fire. As well as dance, this included juggling, baton twirling, fire breathing, fire eating and body burning.

The lectures continued on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. On Wednesday morning there were three presentations on diverse aspects of essential oils in three Asian countries, namely Vietnam, Japan and Nepal, followed by an assessment of China’s aroma chemical industry. These were:

  • Vietnam essential oil industry with respect to sustainable reforestation and exploitation by Nikky Tran, who discussed the two major oils produced in Vietnam (cassia and basil) and six minor oils.
  • Authentic essential oils from Japan in the global market by Geoffrey Henrotte concentrated mainly on hinoki oil.
  • Bioactivities and chemical composition of Himalayan medicinal and aromatic plants from Nepal by Prabodh Satyal, in which he discussed the characteristics of ten Nepalese aromatic plants.
  • The status and outlook of China’s aroma chemicals by Zieger Lin Zhigang, traced key developments in the Chinese aroma chemicals sector over the past two decades.

Two Round Table discussions were held on Wednesday afternoon. The theme of the Citrus Round Table was Oversupply to shortages – an endless cycle? And the Patchouli Round Table theme was A rough history, a lot of progress: are we on the safe side for good? In each case, two neutral moderators managed the wide-ranging discussions on key issues impacting these important F&F ingredients. The number of delegates attending is restricted, based on a first come first served basis. Some 55 people from 20 countries participated in the citrus discussions and 35 people from 11 countries in the patchouli meeting.

The final day of the Conference saw four presentations on Australian essential oils, namely:

  • Essential Oils and Revenge of the Microbes Emerging: Biological Potential of Australasian Essential Oils in the Fight Against Superbugs by Dorene Petersen.
  • The Australian essential oil industry: history and emerging trends by Ashley Dowell.
  • Australia’s plantation Santalum album: forging a new future for an ancient aromatic by Andrew Brown.
  • The union of traditional Indigenous custodians with new age plantation methods: from Australia’s Gibson Desert to the world by Ron Mulder, closing the lecture sessions with a memorable and moving video.

Holding lectures on each morning of the Conference was deemed a success. Audience attendance figures for the speaker programme were high and there was very good feedback from attendees.

Following on from the success of last year’s forum at the Cartagena Conference in 2018, IFEAT held a successful second Scientific Forum on Thursday afternoon. This brought together independent essential oil producers, experts and enthusiasts, with the aim of sharing ideas about both the traditional and modern science and technologies that support and define our industry. There were six speakers covering a very diverse range of topics, each of which was followed by a Q&A session. These presentations were:

  • Theory and practice of solvent free microwave essential oil extraction by David Hackleman, who described the microwave system he had developed to extract essential oils, especially mint.
  • Analysis of the hydrodiffusion process compared to traditional steam distillation Including a comparative analysis of essential oils obtained through both processes by Andrea Frances.
  • Understanding Boswellia & Commiphora, from source to essentials by Casey Lyon, who discussed the harvesting, relationships and distillation to produce frankincense and myrrh.
  • Essential oils: shelf life enhancement and prevention of oxidation by Lakshmy Kaliyarmattom Ravindran.
  • The Explorer: a small scale still for every occasion by Hubert Marceau, who described an easily transportable, safe, stainless, modular and polyvalent still system that had been developed.
  • Distillers United: an online forum for essential oil producers by Rick Boucard.

Over the next few months, the many lectures given at the Bali Conference, along with reports on the Round Tables, will be available to IFEAT members on the IFEAT website.

The timings of the regular and popular Flavour and Fragrance Workshops were changed this year. Rather than the usual one-day session, each had two half days on the Wednesday and Thursday. The Flavour Workshop was again led by John Wright, while Marianne Martin led the Fragrance Workshop, each of which was again very well received.

The Trade Exhibition was opened to all delegates and took place throughout the Conference. There were 30 exhibitors from many different countries who took the opportunity to meet both current business contacts and customers and make new ones over the four days. The exhibiting companies are listed below.

The final event of the Conference was the Closing Banquet which took place at Puri Bhagawan, a beautiful venue on one of Bali’s most prestigious cliffs with magnificent views over the bay. Early arrivals were able to watch the sun set over the bay surrounded by beautiful gardens. Guests were welcomed with a long line of traditionally dressed Balinese. Following cocktails accompanied by music and spectacular fireworks, delegates were led into dinner by Balinese traditional drummers and soldiers.

At the Closing Dinner there were six dancing and musical acts entertaining the delegates throughout the evening. At the cocktail party prior to the dinner the GNK Jazz Trio (baby grand piano, contra bass and saxophone) played some improvised jazz songs. Other acts during the evening included Baris Tumbak, a traditional war dance, Semar pegulingan, an ensemble playing traditional music on a range of instruments; the Adi Merdangga Drum Players, a traditional drum band, which performed a new gamelan based on a traditional processional gamelan somewhat comparable to a marching band; during the dinner the delegates were entertained by Djampiro Jazz Band, featuring Astrid Sulaiman, a well-known classically-trained Indonesian jazz pianist. For some, a highlight of the evening was the Groove Academy and DJ, from Australia, who rocked the dancing delegates well into the night.

During the evening, IFEAT’s President Alastair Hitchen took to the stage to present the IFEAT Founder’s Award to Ramesh Vaze of S H Kelkar Co. Ltd of India. Then the Conference Committee Co-Chairs, Ravi Sanganeria and Stephen Pisano, invited the Bali Conference Committee and IFEAT staff onto the stage to thank them for their efforts in delivering such a successful Conference. Members of the Local Organising Committee were presented with a framed group photograph. In addition, the local Melali Bali DMC and the many Conference sponsors (listed below), were also thanked for their considerable support.

On behalf of Ravi Sanganeria, Stephen Pisano, the Bali Conference Committee, the Local Organising Committee, the IFEAT Secretariat and everyone else involved, we would like to thank you all for making the trip to Bali and hope that the Conference was a success for you.

We look forward to seeing you in Berlin in October 2020.

Photographs from the Conference can be found here: Photographs from the Bali Conference

The video of the Conference can be found on the IFEAT website here:
Bali Conference Video

Conference proceedings are being updated on the IFEAT website on a regular basis and can be viewed by IFEAT Members here: Bali Conference Proceedings


Al-Can Exports Pvt. Ltd., India
Ashapura Aromas
Bulgarian Herb BG Ltd
Camlin Fine Sciences Ltd.
CV. Ratu Aroma
DM Aromatics (Ambrettolide)
Golden Grove Naturals
H J Arochem Pvt Ltd
Hangzhou Grascent Co., Ltd
Jayshree Aromatics Pvt. Ltd.
Mentha & Allied Products Private Limited
Nanjing Univis International Development Co., Ltd.
Natura Aromatik
Organica Aromatics Pvt. Ltd.
Prakash Chemicals International Pvt. Limited
PT Aroma Atsiri Indonesia
PT Haldin Pacific Semesta
PT Indesso Aroma
Purong Essences Mfg. Co. Ltd
Qingdao Free Trade Zone United International Co., Ltd
Sarogi Shellac
Tech-Vina JSC
Tengzhou Tianxiang Aroma Chemical Co.,Ltd.
Van Aroma
Yili Bio-Young Aromas Manufacturing Co., Ltd


A big thank you to our Sponsors below

If you can’t view Vimeo video, here it is on YouTube

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.


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