'The first quarter of this year was, [for us], quite normal because when the [COVID-19] epidemic first arrived in China, we could continue to produce [cosmetic products]. Even if there was a decrease in sales in China, and it was business as usual,' says Christophe Masson, Ph.D., CEO of Cosmetic Valley.
"Then when it arrived in Europe, of course, things changed ... many plants stopped work at of the end of March. So I would say quarter one was okay but quarter two is really, really complicated," adds Masson.
"We hope to keep going on and to increase our capabilities at the end of this year. We also look to Asia and see, in China and Korea, ... change and progress.
"It gives us hope....The situation is not easy but we try to keep going on and we hope it will go better."
Just how to do this, though, is the question everyone is asking; and exactly the reason for this interview. Masson provided some insights on what French companies and Cosmetic Valley, as a larger entity, are doing to keep things moving forward.
For example, the Cosmetic Valley has worked with the French government to help companies manage their businesses, taxes and fees, etc., and to find funding to keep going. The group also pushed companies to produce hand sanitizers, once French authorites gave them permission to do so.
"The cosmetic industry could not produce these products until mid-March," explained Masson, "[and it has been] very impressive how the industry, including both big and small companies, has been able to change their products [over to create these to give] to hospitals very quickly."
In addition, the group set up an online platform to match companies with excess packaging, raw materials, etc., to those in need of these items. This has been a strong tool for collaboration.
Listen to the full interview for additional insights: