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Pratt, Luxe Pack Honor Dior

Dior Beauty was saluted Tuesday at the annual Pratt Institute-Luxe Pack Art of Packaging award dinner, and brand president Pamela Baxter wasted no time in...

Dior Beauty was saluted Tuesday at the annual Pratt Institute-Luxe Pack Art of Packaging award dinner, and brand president Pamela Baxter wasted no time in returning the compliment.

“A brand like Dior thrives on vision and creative energy,” said Baxter, the president and chief executive officer of LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics NA and president of Christian Dior Inc. “In the beauty industry, packaging designers are our true visionaries, the minds that translate creams, oils and pigments into objets d’art.”

Baxter accepted the Art of Packaging Award on behalf of Dior before an audience of more than 250 people, mostly packaging and fragrance suppliers, at the University Club in Manhattan. The evening raised $250,000 for the scholarship fund that supports Marc Rosen’s graduate packaging design program at Pratt.

Thomas Shutte, Pratt’s president, said that more than 20 years ago he had asked Rosen, a packaging designer, to start the program. Now, as it celebrates its 19th anniversary, the scholarship fund has grown to more than $1.5 million. This year’s scholarship recipients were four students — Jaehee Jung, Yue Jin Kim, Patricia Abouchahine and Miguel Eunson.

The event was cohosted by Nathalie Grosdidier, executive director of Luxe Pack. The packaging trade show will be held in Manhattan on May 21 and 22.

At the end of his speech, Rosen grew nostalgic about what the beauty industry once stood for before the advent of chain stores and Wall Street involvement. Looking around the ornate, mahogany-paneled dining room and the faces of executives whose companies had been controlled by old-world families for decades, he said, “The scene I’m seeing this evening is very retro, epitomizing the glamour that the industry had. I hope that, going forward, we can have an industry of beauty and glamour and you will support this.”

Later he said, “We want numbers, but there is a core to this industry that I want to respect. That is what I really care about.”

— Pete Born

Greenpeace in Unilever Protests Over Palm Oil

LONDON — Greenpeace activists mounted an offensive on Unilever Monday with protests in numerous countries against the Anglo-Dutch conglomerate’s use of palm oil from Indonesia.

Activists, many dressed as orangutans, occupied production lines in a factory near Liverpool, scaled Unilever’s headquarters in London and Rotterdam and stopped employees entering the company’s office in Rome, according to a statement from Greenpeace.

“Our research shows that Unilever, maker of Dove and many other well-known brands, is buying palm oil from companies that are destroying valuable rainforest and peatland areas — bad news not only for the millions of people who depend on these for their way of life and endangered species, such as the orangutan, but also for the global climate,” Greenpeace stated.

The protests coincided with the publication of a Greenpeace report called “How Unilever’s Suppliers Are Burning Up Borneo,” which claims the company’s palm oil suppliers are destroying forest and peatland in Central Kalimantan, Borneo. The organization claims that while a roundtable on sustainable palm oil, chaired by Unilever, was set up in 2002 with the goal of setting standards for the sustainable production of palm oil, certified oil is not yet on the market.

“Even when certified palm oil does become available later this year, there’s nothing to prevent it from being blended with non-certified palm oil,” Greenpeace stated. “This will make it impossible for RSPO members to guarantee that their palm oil does not come from recently deforested areas.”

For its part, Unilever issued a counterstatement Monday. “We do use palm oil in some of our products, but we also have a long history of promoting sustainability; for example, in tea and fish,” the company stated. “We are leaders in the search for solutions to achieving sustainable palm oil. The problem is simply that demand [for] palm oil has exploded. This is due partly to growing demand from India and China and also due to the use of palm oil as a feedstock for biofuels in the energy sector.

“It is essential that all those involved sign up to agreed criteria to make sustainability work on the ground, but this is not an easy process and is taking longer than we would all like,” Unilever’s statement continued. “Nevertheless, we remain absolutely committed to finding a solution.”

— Brid Costello