Jean-Yves Bourgeois: This new plant in Chicago is an important step forward for your group?
Dr. Christina Zech: That’s right! Not only is the plant ideally placed between the East Coast and the West Coast, but it is also able to rely on a young, highly skilled and qualified workforce, since it is only one hour from downtown Chicago. This manufacturing plant with an initial space of 45,000 sq. ft. is entirely dedicated to the manufacture of our cosmetics products. Several production lines for plastic pencils are now operational. This is a big step for us, but an even bigger step for our customers, since we are producing several different products tailored to their needs close to their markets, providing the agility the customers are looking for by production in the market, with O’Hare as one of the world´s biggest logistic hubs next door. This new plant offers our U.S. customers the same speed-to-market and convenience as in Europe or Brazil.
Jean-Yves Bourgeois: Your company is also investing in other parts of the world—international expansion is clearly one of the keys to success.
Dr. Christina Zech: We have been investing heavily in Brazil, particularly in capacity, but also in the introduction of new formats which will enable us to cover more needs of the customer in the region. For me, ‘future’ not only means product and process development. We are also working on diversifying and internationalizing our organization. Clear and flexible structures are a must in the ever-changing environment of the global cosmetics landscape as well as proximity to markets, customers, consumers and their ever-changing needs and trends.
Jean-Yves Bourgeois: Your ability to combine and master the formula/packaging duo is a real asset…
Dr. Christina Zech: Yes, thanks to an intelligent modular system of formulations and packaging, we are recognized today as one of the leading private label cosmetic manufacturers worldwide, focusing on color cosmetics and nail care. We successfully combine the heritage, tradition and sustainability policy of the Faber-Castell name with the modern challenges of the dynamic cosmetics industry. The synergy of chemical and technical core competences within the Faber-Castell Group allows us to continuously offer our customers points of differentiation and individual product solutions. Innovation, quality, reliability and efficiency characterize Faber-Castell Cosmetics’ products and services.
Jean-Yves Bourgeois: The other big issue, of course, is environment. A subject you know well—especially since wood is your key raw material. It couldn't have been a better fit.
Dr. Christina Zech: Just for the record, don’t forget that, as the world’s biggest producer of wood-cased pencils, Faber-Castell is the only player in the industry that cultivates its own, sustainable forests. Ensuring a secure and planet-friendly supply of this renewable resource has always been a strategically important objective: Faber-Castell initiated a unique wood supply program in Prata, in the state of Minas Gerais in southeastern Brazil in the 1980’s. Approximately 10,000 hectares of wasteland, over 2,000 km away from the Amazonian rainforest, were planted with millions of seedlings of Pinus caribaea, a tree species that grows fast in the dry, sandy soil of the Brazilian savannah. In a continuous, sustainable cycle, wood is harvested and replanted. Hence, Faber-Castell grows about 20 cubic meters of wood every hour. By the way, Faber-Castell is the only pencil company that produces carbon-neutrally, thanks to these large forests
Now regarding the products themselves, with ‘pure beauty,’ we have introduced our own clean cosmetics seal. And at this year’s Cosmoprof Bologna, we presented the next level: The textures of the pure² beauty-range are formulated without identified controversial ingredients, plus they are vegan and natural on a cleaner and greener level. Inspired by health, sustainability and non-toxicity, the pure and pure² beauty collection consists of 12 different color cosmetic pencils with high performance and rich pigments. Each product is carefully developed and stamped with the pure or pure² beauty-seal.