Seldia Newsletter April 2013

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April 2013
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French Direct Seller Status celebrates 20 Years of Existence

The VDI status (status of independent direct seller) is a specific and unique professional status adapted for the needs of direct sellers, numbering more than 400’000 in France. It was created in 1993 by the French DSA (FVD) and the CEOs of the member companies after negotiations with the Ministry of Labour. To celebrate this important milestone the French DSA organized a press conference in Paris on the 27th of March in the presence of French deputy and Olympic gold medalist David Douillet.The aim was to create a special status for direct sellers allowing the professional to combine his or her initial activity and the activity of direct selling. The direct seller has the status of self-employed professional and benefits from social protection and insurance. Concretely, the status offers lighter administrative procedures, registration to the social security system, lighter procedures as far as reporting of activities and taxes are concerned, reduction of contributions, and the possibility to keep receiving unemployment benefits as well as retirement benefits. This status is open to everybody who wants to become a direct seller, without any pre-conditions for age, professional experience, residence, or life course.

The VDI status opens a lot of opportunities: it answers to the needs of the profession by enabling flexibility and independence, and creates at the same time thousands of jobs. With more than 100’000 new direct sellers since 2010, the sector in France is booming.

Website of the French DSA (FVD)

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Industry News

Partylite celebrates 40th Anniversary

April 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the company PartyLite, the world leader in direct selling of top quality candles and candle-holders and corporate member of Seldia for 15 years. Prizes and gifts are offered to the clients and consumers for this exceptional occasion.

Happy birthday to PartyLite from the Seldia team!

Website of Partylite

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Seldia sets up Women Entrepreneurs Platform 
Seldia published a Special Edition Brochure on the Women Entrepreneurs Exhibition that took place on 19-21 February at the European Parliament in Brussels.
The online version can be downloaded 
here

As one of the follow up projects after the Exhibition, Seldia is taking the lead in the creation of a new Brussels based Women Entrepreneurship Platform. The Platform is being joined by organisations that already partnered with Seldia during the exhibition and will continue to grow over time. Its aim is to function as an information exchange platform for European organisations promoting Women Entrepreneurs, with a special focus on cooperation with the European Parliament. The website is currently being constructed and more information will follow shortly. 

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Financial Times: Migrants boost direct selling in UK
In an article published on 5 April in the Financial Times, the journalist Emma Jacobs looks into the rising number of migrant persons taking up direct selling in the UK. In the article, Andy Smith, Amway General Manager for UK & Ireland and UK DSA Chairman states that while during the first 35 years of Amway’s presence on the island, most of the direct sellers were British, that it is now 60% migrants and that he expects their proportion to raise to 90% in the next five years.

Oriflame has witnessed a similar trend with 45 percent of its sales force having been born outside the country and a growing number of its UK consultants being of Polish, Hungarian or Romanian origin – a trend which matches the companies’ top markets in Europe. Andy Smith explains that “direct selling is a good way for a migrant to establish themselves. A strong work ethic alone really can yield success, as opposed to other industries where who and what you know are more important.” 

Deputy Director General of the UK DSA Lynda Mills sees the situation in her country as a unique opportunity for the industry and vice versa: “The rise of multiculturalism in the UK is having a huge and extremely positive impact on [our] business. People moving to the UK from countries… see it as a way in which their skills and drive can help them make up for a lack of contacts and knowledge of the UK job market.”

For the full article please click here.
Website of the UK DSA

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FVD Seminar on Innovation and Trade in Strasbourg
The European Seminar on Innovation and Trade, “the new entrepreneurs in the field of distribution” took place in Strasbourg, France, on 4th and 5th of April. Organized by the French DSA (FVD) and the business school EM Strasbourg, the first edition of the seminar included workshops and a two day conference highlighting issues linked to trade and direct selling, such as entrepreneurship, smart shopping, business creation, the human factor in direct selling and distribution, as well as online shopping. The seminar gathered actors from the academic, association, economic and institutional world in order to share a common reflection on the current and future issues of trade and distribution companies. Prominent speakers from the industry included Philippe Jacquelinet (Chairman FVD & CEO of Captain Tortue), Jacques Cosnefroy (Executive Director FVD), Tamuna Gabilaia (Executive Director WfDSA) and Isabelle Rabier (CEO Dermance). 

Website of the Event

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Estonian DS industry enjoys impressive growth
According to the Estonian DSA, one of the three Baltic states (alongside Lithuania and Latvia), in 2012 total direct sales in the country increased by 19% and amounted to 30 million euros. This growth also led to an increase by 5% in the number of people involved in direct selling, reaching the number of 22 000 professionals.

The Secretary General for Baltic DSAs Gintautas Zaleckas emphasizes the great dynamism of the sector, recalling the fact that the direct selling market is recovering more rapidly from the crisis than the total retail market in the country. G. Zaleckas explains this outstanding growth by naming three reasons: an increase in popularity of direct selling amongst consumers, an increase in the number of direct sellers and thirdly the development and spread of new technologies (internet access and cellphones) in Estonia.

Website of the Estonian DSA

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New Chairs at Czech and Slovenian DSA’s
Mrs. Ildiko Dikosova (Amway) was elected as new chairwoman of the Czech DSA on 27 March 2013 and the Slovenian DSA elected its new chairman Mr. Nenad Bondžić (Oriflame) on 14 March 2013. Seldia welcomes the new DSA chairs and wishes them much success and a fruitful cooperation.

Website of the Czech DSA
Website of the Slovenian DSA

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TOP 100 Direct Selling Companies
Direct Selling News has published the 2012 ranking of the top 100 direct selling companies in the world.  Six U.S. companies, two European and two Latin American companies are listed amongst the Top10, of which six are Seldia corporate members. 

For the full ranking visit http://directsellingnews.com

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Save the Date: Third Annual Round Table 2013
Preparations have already begun towards the organisation of the 2013 edition of the Third Annual Round Table on the Future of Direct Selling

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EU AT A GLANCE

EU finally bans animal testing for cosmetics

Full EU ban on animal testing for cosmetics

The full EU ban on animal testing for cosmetics entered into force on 11 March 2013. On that day, a 10-year process was completed, which saw the gradual introduction of different bans i.e. on animal testing of finished cosmetic products in 2004, cosmetic ingredients in 2009 and on the marketing of cosmetic products and ingredients tested on animals in 2009. To this marketing ban an exception for complex tests still applied until 11 March 2013.

“The process was long, but it has finally come to fruition. I am confident that this news will please many European citizens who have shared with us the view that animals should not suffer for the sake of producing cosmetics” – wrote Commissioner Tonio Borg on his «Personally Speaking» blog. The date of 11 March puts an end to this last exception. This means that companies will not be able to carry out the tests outside the EU for cosmetic purposes and rely on the results in the EU. At the same time, more research is needed on alternative methods to animal testing. The European Commission made 238 million EUR available for research in the period 2007-2011.

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High Hopes and progress on TTIP

On 11 April in Washington, during EU-US talks for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), EU Commissioner for Competition Joaquin Almunia stated that the TTIP provided an opportunity to “go beyond” the WTO and strengthen the enforcement of rules. On 13 March the EU Commission published a Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations on the TTIP. The online magazine Inside US Trade published this draft mandate on 28 March 2013, which can be downloaded here

Thomas Spiller, Chair of AmCham EU ‘s Communication and Marketing Group writes in the Brussels based Parliament Magazine that “an ambitious TTIP could benefit the EU economy to the tune of €119bn yearly and €95bn in the US” and adds that while the road to such a comprehensive agreement will be complex and bumpy “the TTIP holds vast potential for jobs and growth in the EU, the US and beyond. The post-crisis recovery is fragile and this agreement could go far in creating sustainable growth for citizens in the EU and US.”Another positive signal comes from Jose Manuel Barroso, the EU Commission’s President, who on 12 April gave a speech at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters, confirming that the negotiations will start before this summer and that the main approach is that of removing unnecessary costs created by differing regulations, as well as conventional trade barriers such as tariffs and quotas, underlining that “on both sides, [we] will not compromise on our high levels of health and safety standards, on consumer and environmental protection.”

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Consultation: European Small Claims Procedure

On 19 March the European Commission opened a public consultation on the functioning of the European Small Claims Procedure which was adopted as a regulation six years ago and has been in force since 1 January 2009 in all member states except Denmark. The European Small Claims Procedure intends to simplify cross-border small claims litigation in civil and commercial matters and to reduce costs. “Small claims” are cases concerning sums under 2’000 EUR, excluding interest, expenses and disbursements. Judgments delivered under this procedure are recognised and enforceable in the other Member States without the need for a declaration of enforceability. The procedure is optional, offered as an alternative to the possibilities existing under the national laws of the Member States. Through the consultation the EU Commission will evaluate this instruments’  practical application. The consultation will be open until 10 June 2013 and can be found here.

 

EVENTS

UK DSA Annual Conference
    9 May 2013, http://conference.dsa.org.uk/
ECR Europe-EuroCommerce Conference and Marketplace
    14-15 May 2013 in Brussels, http://www.ecreuropeforum.net/
French DSA Annual Conference
    26-27 May 2013
Seldia Committee Meetings
    3-4 June 2013 in Stockholm
US DSA Annual Conference
    9-11 June 2013
Annual Round Table on the Future of Direct Selling
    2 October 2013, BrusselsTo top      

 

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Troy Dooly is recognized internationally as an influencer in the areas of personal branding, leadership development, marketing campaigns, organizational expansion, and corporate launch strategies. Dooly is a speaker, results coach, and radio host. He is a founding member, show host (Beachside CEO) and News Director of the Home Business Radio Network. He is a founding member, and currently serves on the Board of the Association of Network Marketing Professionals