2017 Buyer Previews

“Since the last six years The UAE has seen a huge shift. People are looking for organic foods and personal care products.” - Shahida Siddique, CEO Altearah Bio.

Altearah Bio Emotive Cosmetics is a 100% ECOCERT certified natural and organic range produced in France in a 200 year old farmhouse located in the heart of organic farmlands growing grapes, rice, lavender, sunflowers, oleanders and roses for the local food and cosmetic industry.

Altearah Bio evokes positive emotions and creates a deep and authentic wellbeing shift. It is a sensory experience for the body and mind achieved through an innovative multi-disciplinary approach incorporating, Aromatherapy, Chromotherapy and Olfactotherapy. They have 14 ready to-use essential oil compositions, formulated in Perfumes, Oils, Concentrates, Scrubs and Salts. We propose starting with the 5 Essential Colours or choices of treatments.

We asked CEO of Altearah Bio, Shahida Siddique, her views on the natural and organic industry.

In your opinion, how popular is the natural/organic industry in the UAE and the Middle East?

It was very challenging to promote organic cosmetics when I first started. People had no idea about the difference between chemically produced cosmetics, natural cosmetics and organic cosmetics. There were very few organic products and retail stores and consequently choices were limited. Since the last six years The UAE has seen a huge shift. People are looking for organic foods and personal care products. The development of social media, bloggers and influencers have created this shift. Articles on the dangers of fertilizers, pesticides, surfactants, foaming agents, ingredients in cosmetics have spread like wild fire. This has resulted in a huge shift in consumer behaviour, demand and consequently supply for organic products. 

How do you find the growth trend of this industry both here in the region as well as globally?

In the Middle East we are still negligent about the impact of ink in our eyebrows, glue on the eyelashes or keratin, bleach or colour dyes on the hair. People are judged by their visible beauty be it artificially created. We need to create much more awareness of the long term dangers of doing so than we do now. We need to manage the use of harmful chemicals through legislation. We also need to find health, wellness and happiness through lifestyle changes and not by encouraging the development of larger number of aesthetic clinics, beauty centres, restaurants and supermarkets supplying large quantities of the perfect foods. I see here grapes the size of a date and dates the size of apricots. These are GMO foods and should be avoided since they are changing the very DNA of our people. We also see huge artificial lakes, pools and water features that need chemicals for maintenance. Development deters us from an organic lifestyle. I feel there is a dichotomy in our region which we need to address. Development should not be at the cost of life itself. Let's plant trees and forests, protect nature, breathe clean air and consume and use clean products. 

How do you source your products?

I own the brand ALTEARAH Bio produced in my own organic cosmetics Laboratory in the South of France. We source the 50 raw materials that we use in the range from organic suppliers from around the world. We insist on Certifications, ethical production, fair trade and animal protection so we are careful about our partners. European laws and certification bodies are very strict, so besides the soil where the plants are grown or the ingredients we use, even our packaging is checked and reviewed which sometimes limits our choices. However I am sure that my product is so much more powerful and effective because it is organic and ethically produced. 

Any other facts you might want to add about the natural/organic industry?

Well I think there has been a huge shift in the understanding of the organic world. However people need to choose organic which is still limited in supply at the moment. As demand will increase the supply will happen and the shift will take place. Demand can increase only if people are aware of a different, a well and a wholesome life that can be lived if we choose natural and organic.

To conclude, we can see the growth in the region’s industry. Companies in the region are trying to shift the mind-set of the public and increase awareness.

Interview By - Menaka Ramakrishnan

Middle East Organic & Natural Products Expo