History Of ATC

History of the Aromatherapy Trade CouncilThe Aromatherapy Trade Council was formed following a conference in November 1993 on ‘Essential Oils & Public Safety’ which was held by the Aromatherapy Organisations Council, who at the time was the governing body for the aromatherapy profession.

At the well-attended conference various speakers from both the supply trade and the profession discussed various topics of safety, plus current hot issues such as the negative and misinformed media coverage that threatened to harm the industry as a whole.

In the United Kingdom during the early 1990’s aromatherapy had become established as one of the most popular complementary therapies, but the wide range of choice in essential oils was confusing to inexperienced consumers who were looking for good quality products to achieve optimum therapeutic results.

Essential oils were becoming widely available under various forms of labelling and packaging, often with insufficient regard for public safety. Many were of a very poor quality, some were totally synthetic, while others were adulterated with cheaper oils or diluted and sold as “pure essential oils.”

All of this was being picked up by the media who invariably got their facts wrong, often unfairly pointing the finger of blame at aromatherapists when the blame lay squarely with rogue traders. This highlighted the urgent need for an association to represent the interests of aromatherapy manufacturers in a balanced and professional manner.

It was issues such as these that ultimately led to the formation of the ATC later in 1993 to act as the first self-regulating and authoritative body for the UK aromatherapy trade. To date, no other aromatherapy trade association has ever attempted to do what the ATC set out to do in terms of self-regulation, due to the huge complexity created by ever-changing legislation and the costs incurred in implementing this.

The ATC currently represents a substantial proportion of the sector. It is democratically governed by an elected Board of Directors made up of representatives from both large and small companies, to ensure a wide cross-section of interests. The Board meets on a regular basis to formulate strategy and consults with the membership on all policy matters.

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