Chemical Industries Association meeting, 5th November 2015


EPP recently joined a CIA (Chemical Industries Association) trade mission to the USA. Since then the CIA’s International Business Promotion Network met to consider the state of the Fine Chemical market and what activities should be the priority for 2016. Our MD, James Stuart, took part in the meeting and reflected on it afterwards:

The British Fine Chemical industry has been under pressure from numerous factors in recent years. These include a highly competitive Asian offering, reductions in energy and raw material costs in the USA which has improved the North American proposition, a strong pound and the lingering impact of the credit crunch. In many ways it was and to some extent still is a perfect storm.

What is clear, and in some ways remarkable, is that the UK Fine Chemicals sector is in good health and the feeling for 2016 and beyond is buoyant. Indeed an assessment of the mega-trends in the Human Health and Crop Protection sectors gives considerable cause for optimism. Recent investments in infrastructure, a pursuit of leaner processes and the UK’s continued access to exceptional talent seem to be major factors in maintaining our competitive edge.

The feeling from the meeting was that whilst challenges still remain and growth is variable across different market segments the overall picture is positive and the longer term view is rather good. What is also encouraging is that a number of business reported successfully bringing business back from Asia; citing their commitment to quality, accountability and communication as being the drivers for their success.

This is good news for EPP and echoes our own experiences and feedback from customers. Indeed for the third year in a row, an industry outsourcing survey identified quality and reliability as the number one and two priorities for sponsors when they are looking for outsourcing partners including CROs. These are elements of our service we pride ourselves on and we will continue to invest in to make sure we set the standard for all CROs to meet.