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Naturex visit highlights value of local market

The importance of the South African as well as the rest of the African market for leading global natural ingredients supplier, Naturex, was highlighted recently when two top executives spent a week in South Africa with Sharon Bolel Chemical Marketing, the sole distributor for Naturex products in South Africa.

Naturex’s Maxime Angelucci, sales director (Europe, Asia and Africa), and Marc Ovide, Africa sales director, familiarised themselves with the local market and shared information on Naturex’s offerings.

The emerging markets of Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa are a strong focus for Naturex and achieved 14% of the group’s sales last year, compared with less than 10% the previous year. These markets offer highly promising development prospects for the company. Africa in particular, says Ovide, is a top priority for Naturex. “We see the continent of Africa as the future.”

Ovide, who is based at the new Naturex offices in Casablanca, Morocco, joined the company in November 2011. He was keen to meet the team from Sharon Bolel Chemical Marketing and introduce them to Naturex’s new developments, while also holding discussions on the local market and its potential.

“It was very exciting to visit South Africa for the first time,” says Ovide. “It is a wonderful country with a lot of potential for growth in many different fields. We are confident that South Africa, which is a highly advanced market and one of the top markets in Africa for Naturex, will continue to develop strongly.”

Ovide says the South African market is similar to the European market of a few years ago, with the delay in development attributable to the country’s demographic profile rather than to a lack of technological advancement, adding that “the quality of the industry is very good!”

Ovide and Angelucci, together with SBCM people, visited customers in Cape Town and Johannesburg across the spectrum of manufacturing sectors, including food & beverage, nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics, discussing their issues as well as possible solutions to situations specific to South Africa.

“Naturex will be adapting some of its offerings to the South African market, bringing a stronger service and R&D element to this market, in line with developments worldwide,” adds Ovide.

SBCM MD, Jack Noble, notes that the visit by Naturex was extremely positive both for SBCM as well as its customers. “The Naturex executives were keen to understand the complexities and differences in the South African market compared with other emerging markets. They recognised the need to enhance their solutions-based offering, priced to meet market needs rather than selling off-the-shelf Euro-zone products not ideally suited to local requirements.”

Noble states that the visit was exceedingly encouraging for SBCM for several reasons. It has been the first visit by Naturex since the acquisition of SBCM by CJP Chemicals. The positive nature of the merger was evident to the Naturex team, who recognise the synergies that exist between SBCM and CJP and the added growth opportunities that are opening up for SBCM and in turn, for Naturex.

Reflecting further on the visit by the Naturex executives, Noble says SBCM is excited because it is now in a position to offer various price ranges of products with quality to suit the needs and demands of the local market. “We can now accommodate every market segment of the food and personal care market, with confidence.”

Naturex is committed to growing the South African market with an ongoing strategy developed to satisfy the whole of the African continent with what they believe are the best products available, adds Noble.

Ovide, who was pleased to discover how well-known SBCM is in the local market and that it has a good reputation for service delivery, emphasises that it will be increasing its support of the SBCM team as far as development of new products as well as R&D are concerned.

“Naturex is on a strong growth path. Just recently the company bought two leading natural ingredients manufacturing companies – Pektowin in Poland (specialising in the production of apple and citrus pectins, fruit and vegetable juice concentrates, and processed food products) and Burgundy in France (manufacturer and supplier of plant extracts) – and it is constantly alert to markets with potential for significant growth. We believe we have such a market in South Africa as well as in the rest of Africa. We truly look forward to working together with the local industry to further develop the market to its potential,” adds Ovide.