As the largest individual ingredient buyer in the global fragrance and flavour industry, Givaudan is mindful of the need to invest responsibly in the supply chains of today in order to ensure availability tomorrow. Reliable suppliers and continuous supply are crucial in order to fulfil our customer commitments and provide the service to which we aspire.

Despite the economic recovery after the challenging year of 2009, fragility among our suppliers has been evident over the past two years. Significant de-stocking and re-stocking has hindered continuity and stability in the supply of some materials, whilst the ‘on/off’ environment has created challenges that have led to consolidation among some of our suppliers.

At the same time, unprecedented demand has meant that carry-over inventories have been used this year that will take years to rebuild. The unusual surge in demand has created material shortages in many areas and stock building along the chain.

Fortunately, Givaudan was able to mitigate most shortages through its own stocks and material planning, although an increasingly volatile price situation was evident in the latter part of the year.

Partnerships are always important, but never more so than during the challenging times recently experienced by our suppliers. In these circumstances, good relationships, long-term purchasing strategies and supplier alliances are of paramount importance. We continue to further grow and build these key relationships to support our future business. Looking ahead into 2011, we expect that demand for raw materials will continue to be firm, particularly from developing economies. Currency and price volatility continues and the lack of a stable environment, demand visibility and sustainable revenues in some supply chains are likely to lead to some forms of protectionism such as quotas on raw material supplies, allocations and unpredictable movements in short-term pricing structures.