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Report of the 10th Asia Oceania Soap and Detergent Association Conference, AOSDAC 2015

AOSDAC is an international conference of nine associations engaged in production and sales of soap and detergent in Asia and Oceania. This conference has been held every two years since 1997. AOSDAC's 10th anniversary conference was held on October 16th, 2015, under the auspices of JSDA.

Mr. Michitaka Sawada, President of JSDA, giving the keynote speech
Chair of the AOSDAC2015 , Ms. Hitomi Takeshita
The conference venue, IINO Hall and Conference Center

Learning Across National and Regional Borders and Encouraging Innovations, for the "Sustainable Growth in Asia and Oceania"

In the opening speech, Mr. Hiroshi Fukushima (Deputy Director-General for Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), a guest of the conference, said, "the soap and detergent industry is one of the largest businesses in Japan, and is close to the lives of people. We expect for it to serve as an engine for sustainable development by harnessing science and technology". Subsequently, Mr. Michitaka Sawada, President of JSDA, gave the keynote speech.

Mr. Sawada stated at first that both the economy and population of Asia and Oceania are growing rapidly, and as a result, these regions are becoming the world's largest emitter of CO2, bearing a responsibility for social issues. He also stated that it is important for the AOSDAC member associations to learn from one another across borders of companies, regions and countries in order to build social trust and achieve innovation in order to overcome challenges. He emphasized the expectations for the innovation of each association spreading over region and society, and in turn, leading to the advancement of the entire world.

With respect to the role of JSDA, and a mention to the JSDA's effort to lead development of phosphorus-free laundry detergents and reached successful achievements in a short term in the 1970s, he stated that JSDA will propose a solution to potential and existing issue, if any, to play a role of boosting innovation.

Keynote speech, Mr.Michitaka Sawada, President of JSDA

Presentation by AOSDAC Member Associations, Invited Speech, and Report of JSDA's Priority Activity

Persons from member associations of AOSDAC 2015
Mr. Tsutomu Katagiri, JSDA senior managing director, (far left), gave a presentation on a summary of the JSDA's recent activities.

Recent Market Trend - from AOSDAC Members' Presentations

JSDA mentioned, as a key topic of recent years that in the Japanese market, there has been a shift in laundry detergent from powder type to liquid type. The market share of liquid type is approximately 70 percent, and ultra-compact liquid detergent type, which claims a single-rinsing cycle function, took market share of 40 percent in the liquid detergent market. In addition, he explained that ultra-compact type has advantages for lower water and electric consumption. This type also reduces CO2 emission in the entire course of production, transportation, and disposal due to downsizing of product volume.

Furthermore, JSDA has focused on sustainable activities such as product safety, plastic reduction in containers as well as packages, and consumer educations for adequate hand-washing and knowledge of laundry detergents. An attendance inquired, "There has been a big misunderstanding that synthetic detergents are hazardous in China. Why is safety understood in Japan?" The presenter Mr. Katagiri answered, "While there still remains some misunderstanding also in Japan, we have resolved through scientific verification and educational activities to consumers for many years".

In addition to JSDA, ACCORD (Australia), CCIA (China), IHPCIA (India), MSDA (Malaysia), TSDA (Taipei), and TSDMA (Thailand) made presentations.

The summaries are as follows. China: "The market of soap and detergent is growing rapidly. The ratio of powder to liquid in laundry detergent is approximately 7 to 3, and the liquid type is growing year by year. The compact type has been the latest trend." Malaysia: "The market share of liquid type detergent has been expanding and it is now approximately 30 percent, however one of the most important needs is to add functions fitting the change of their lifestyle in powder detergent.” Taipei: "With healthy economy, the share of liquid type detergents has expanded to approximately 60 percent. While ecological detergents having high added-value are in demand, price-cutting competition is intensifying." India: "Both sales in the personal care and home care products have doubled over the last seven years"

We had received some reports from Australia, Taipei, and Thailand that regulations particular of a country are sometimes a factor for inhibiting growth of the market and innovation of products.

Chemical Control and GHS - From Invited Speeches

The invited speeches were given by ACI (the United State), A.I.S.E. (Europe), ACCORD, and CCIA.

ACI stated that laundry detergents are often subjected to chemical control. The key reasons are the large amount of consumption and insufficiency of consumer’s understanding. He also stated it will become more important to explain and share the correct knowledge with consumers as a response of manufacturers and distributers. CCIA explained the various regulations in China, and commented on the situation where dish-washing detergents and the like are under strict regulations against the backdrop of the food-safety issues.

Each member association also reported the status of GHS labeling. GHS is a global standard for classifying and indicating hazardous levels and toxicity of chemical products. The ACCORD acknowledged the background of the Asian and Oceanian regions where discussions have been promoted under the APEC chemical dialogue, resulting in a relatively early introduction. A.I.S.E. commented that GHS labeling has been revised under a new network, and expressed her recognition that it is very important to improve the labeling from a consumer standpoint.

From the top left, Mr. Ernie Rosenberg (ACI), Ms. Susanne Zänker (A.I.S.E.),
Ms. Bronwyn Capanna (ACCORD), and Ms. Lei Zhang (CCIA)

Main Activities of JSDA (Presentation of Key Topics in Detail)

Towards the end, three speakers from JSDA gave presentations about progresses and outcomes of the main activities. The object of their speeches was to disclose information to assist in the development of emerging markets in Asia.

Mr. Hirohiko Tadenuma from the Laundry Science Sub-Committee

Mr. Tadenuma made an introduction, based on result of the latest consumer survey on laundry habits and practices in Japan, the background of the market change from powder type to liquid type in laundry detergent, the change of consumer intention for laundry detergent, and laundry habits and practices, etc. in detail.

Mr. Yoshiharu Kumagai from the Product Safety Labeling Task Force

Mr. Kumagai reported GHS labeling status in Japan as follows. While GHS labeling has been previously introduced in dishwashing detergents and chlorine bleaches, consumers do not fully recognize or understand what the labels mean yet. Thus JSDA is now developing safe use icons so that consumers would use our products more safely.

Mr. Koichi Yanagita from the Special Committee for Package and Container

Mr. Yanagita introduced the surveys pertaining to the amount of plastic used in containers and packages, and the member companies’ effort for reduction of the plastic consumption for 20 years. He stated JSDA’s voluntary target of 40% plastic reduction based on the consumption in 2006 will be achieved until 2015 and also explained some technologies for the refillable pouch and its penetration status in Japan.

Closing speech , Mr.Toru Sakai , Vice President of JSDA

The exchange of fruitful information was achieved among the AOSDAC members, and new information was delivered from the association of the United States and that of Europe. As a result, the conference became more meaningful in international exchange beyond the boundaries of Asia-Oceania.

The next AOSDAC is being under planning in Taiwan in 2017.