Make it a double: Outgoing Australia trade body chief reflects on a decade of growth, regs gains and innovation - PODCAST

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Gary Scattergood and Carl Gibson in Shanghai back in 2018.
Gary Scattergood and Carl Gibson in Shanghai back in 2018.

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When Carl Gibson took at the helm at supplements industry trade body Complementary Medicines Australia in 2013 he was told that the market was saturated and had little prospects for growth. A decade later it has doubled to become a $6bn sector.

As Gibson says, the industry certainly hasn’t ‘dithered or delayed’ over the past 10 years, which has been characterised by a boom in exports, landmark regulatory changes in the domestic market, and a wave of mergers and acquisitions among Australia’s biggest players – with much of the investment coming from overseas, and Asia in particular.

On his last day on active duty in Australia, we spoke with Gibson for a NutraIngredients-Asia podcast at the recent Naturally Good Expo in Sydney, where he reflected on the industry’s export success, much of it driven by sales to China.

Indeed, China still accounts for 68% of all exports, but he also notes that the industry has enjoyed significant success in South East Asia, and has high hopes for growth in India on the back of impending tariff reductions.

He also discusses how regulatory changes secured under his watch are helping fuel innovation and R&D, as well as providing a pathway to make higher-level health claims.

Lastly he reflects on a wave of takeovers in the Australian industry, stressing that overseas investment is a positive reflection on homegrown brands and the nation's renowned manufacturing capabilities and standards.

NutraIngredients-Asia Editor-in-Chief Gary Scattergood said: "We'd like to wish Carl a very happy retirement and thank him for his insights and expertise over the years, as well as for his fair and thorough judging of the NutraIngredients-Asia Awards. He has been a huge champion for the Australian industry in a decade where it has enjoyed significant successes."

Listen to the podcast for more.

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