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Exclusive Speaker Interview with Nick Vetter, Senior Scientist at P&G

July 21, 2021

Ahead of his presentation at this year's co-located Pigment and Color Science Forum & TiO2 World Summit, we reached out to Nick Vetter, Senior Scientist at Procter & Gamble Baby Care, to learn more about how P&G is leading the effort in the consumer goods category to deliver on the promise of complete transparency of ingredients and sourcing through supplier partnerships and industry collaboration.

Why have you decided to present at Smithers co-located Pigment and Color Science Forum and TiO2 World Summit 2021?

Procter & Gamble decided to present at the Pigment & Color Science Forum because we see this as a great opportunity to share our needs and perspective directly to an audience of key producers/suppliers in the pigment and ink industry. We believe there is a lot we can share and we can learn from each other in a collaborative relationship.

Your presentation is entitled " Ensuring Raw Material Traceability & Purity in Consumer Products Through Supplier Collaborations " can you tell us why you felt this topic should be shared with this audience?

As consumers are becoming more intelligent with respect to knowing more about the everyday products they use and demanding more in terms of transparency of ingredients and sourcing, P&G feels that our work in this space is a complement to the work being done by today's pigment and ink producers striving for more natural and pure ingredients.

What do you hope delegates will take from your talk?

My hope is that delegates will take away from our talk the fact the P&G is leading the effort in the consumer goods category to deliver on the promise of complete transparency of ingredients and ensuring the highest purity products possible. While we are not ink/pigment producers and do very little of our own printing we rely heavily on our collaborative relationships with our print suppliers and their pre-suppliers to ensure we are meeting and often exceeding this goal, yet there is still much more work to be done in this space.

What industry barriers/challenges exist, technical or otherwise, that prevent progress in commercialization? 

While P&G is not an ink or pigment producer looking to commercialize new materials on our own, we recognize that the best path forward for us is to collaborate with industry experts to get our technical challenges met. Some of the challenges we face include finding pigment choices that are free of impurities that are inherent to the pigment chemistries, finding new ways of manufacturing pigments that are cost-effective, finding alternative pigment sources such as natural or sustainable pigments that are cost effective and meet current color standards.

Additional challenges such as social media influence and NGO's (Non-Government Organizations) can do significant damage to a brand's equity rather quickly with the wrong messaging; and the opposite is true with driving home messaging that resonates well with consumers. The pigment industry as a whole is making advances in more natural/sustainable components, however, there still remains significant areas of unmet need with respect to consumer goods utilizing sustainable and natural components - pigments and printing are no exception.

How does your presentation help to address those challenges?

 While we haven't addressed all of these challenges, we have identified some barriers and have implemented 'work-arounds' to get our needs met. However, there are still many challenges we need to address. We are still looking for the right partnerships to deliver the appropriate solutions to meet those challenges and open to the many new ideas coming each day.

What are you most looking forward to at the conference?

I am most looking forward to engaging with all of the industry leaders in attendance and seeing the many ways we can collaborate together on meaningful solutions for the future.