AECM Annual Conference
16-18th June, Krakow, Poland
This was a very well attended conference – 133 attendees, evenly split between Candlemakers and suppliers.
Programme overview here
AECM June Newsletter here
AISE Product Stewardship Programme (PSP)
Much of the technical meeting was concerned with the PSP. The French authorities is still pushing forward with the unilateral proposal that emissions from all candles are tested (N.B. The EU might deem this anti-competitive). Therefore the PSP is being seriously considered by manufacturers as an alternative that will satisfy the French authorities. It was noted that in the UK the pressure for emissions testing of candles is not coming from the authorities’ but the media.
Candle emissions can be tested by Eurofins for €875 (cheaper than competitors). A strict reading of the PSP gives the impression that every candle has to be tested and testing would be required for every change. The cost of this would of course be enormous. This was addressed in a presentation the following day by Francesca Anguilli from AISE. Apparently candles may be tested in product groups or families. It would be up to the individual companies to justify the product families or groupings to the AISE. There is a complete lack of data at the moment concerning emissions from candles. It may be that very few candles generate enough emissions to require testing. For example, it may turn out that only citrus fragranced candles are a concern; or just large diameter candles. Without any data, absolutely no one can anticipate the candle families that require testing. The AISE appear to understand this and are willing to discuss with Candlemakers.
The French and Italian candlemaking federations are each planning on having x10 candles tested for emissions. There was some talk (nothing concrete as yet) of pooling the results within the AECM. A third party may be required to manage the data as companies will not want to share formulations.
There was discussion of the study into candle container temperatures. The great majority of candles were found to have acceptable temperatures. The few that had high temperatures were generally small containers. The highest container temperatures recorded are most often after 75% of the burn.
The consensus has been that there is no need for a standard as there never any complaints and no reported injuries. The American NCA carried out a similar study 10 years ago and reached the same conclusions.
Most of the technical questions posed to the AECM are concerned with CLP. The Dead fish/tree classification was discussed. It is already known from private American studies that as the fragrance is locked into the candle wax, in real life candles do not merit having dead fish/tree on the label. It would cost ~10K to generate a study to prove this. If the results were obtained that successfully proved this then there are two avenues.
(a) Try to get permission from the European Chemicals agency (ECHA) to stop labelling candles with dead fish/tree.
(b) Just release the data to candle companies who will use it if challenged for not labelling dead fish/tree.
No decision was made on progressing this.
The French are considering making the following phrases mandatory on all candles:
-Ventilate room after use.
-Do not breathe smoke.
The French may require permission from Brussels for this as it may be considered anti-competitive.
How to Ensure Quality Production of Candles ? A Regulatory Affairs View
AISE – Francesca Angiulli – Introduction to the Product Stewardship Programme
The European air freshener market is worth €2.2bn per year. Companies that sign up to the (voluntary) PSP would have to agree to the following.
· Have to make the chemical composition of all mixtures available to the national poisons centre.
· Would have to make info available on a website.
· Test candles for emissions to confirm that they are within WHO limits.
· Provide data to the AISE detailing which candles and the volumes are sold to each country within the EU.
· Yearly KPI reporting.
· Some 3rd party auditing (it would require filling in a form).
· Mandatory safety phrases required.
The PSP will be a lot easier for large multi-national companies with only a few candles sold in very large volumes. Smaller companies with a wide range of candles will find the PSP a challenge.
RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Production of Palm Oil) – Ashwin Sevaraj
-20% of all palm oil is RSPO certified.
-80-90% of all palm oil used in Europe is certified.
E-commerce: How to expand your candle business online
This presentation contained few helpful tips but some interesting ideas. E.g.
-Subscription model of business.
-If have website for candles, why not include flowers, chocolates, greetings cards etc.?
Mentioned that since 2014, the majority of internet users are using mobile devices.
Conversation with IKEA
Jonas Evaldsson, responsible for candle safety. IKEA are the biggest sellers of candles in Europe. None of their candles have CLP declarable allergens and they work hard to maintain this.
-IKEA switched to tall (5-7mm) sustainers for all their candles 12 years ago.
-Flat (topped) candles are more prone to clubbing.
Next AECM meeting – 16-18th June 2017, Taormina, Sicily