Natchem celebrates 30th Birthday
Natchem was established in January 1982 by its current owner Byron Price.
After having gained experience and knowledge working with Givaudan for 11 years, Byron decided to venture out on his own into the world of fragrance. ‘I was initially approached by what was then V.Mane Fils, to take on the agency for the South African market, selling and distributing their perfume compound range,’ says Price. ‘It was certainly a daunting task to take on,’ he continues. ‘The company had already appointed various other companies as agents. However, their success had been extremely limited’.
Price’s experience and knowledge of the local fragrance industry proved to be that which made all the difference in helping the company become the key player and success it is today.
||From the humble beginnings, which started in his garage at home, to now owning the building that houses Natchem’s operation, Price maintains that the key to his success was hard work and determination. |
Shortly after taking on the Mane agency, Price got his first order from the owner of Femista, which quickly grew from a few small orders to an increased demand – and not only from Femista.
‘This was certainly the start of many more orders to come. We experienced huge support from an extensive list of customers. They have been with us from the beginning and it is through their support that we have become the company we are today.’
After less than a year of operating, the business was flourishing at such a rate that Price realised he would need to acquire bigger premises, not only to satisfy the current demand, but to allow for the company to expand further. ‘Natchem became a big contender for a share of the local perfume compound industry, and was strongly backed by Mane, giving unsurpassed service combined with knowledge of our local market’s wants and needs,’ says Price.
In 2001/2002, Mane, as part of its global expansion strategy, made the strategic decision to establish its own sales office in South Africa. It was at this point that Price, now joined by his wife, Margaret, discovered what was to be the company’s main principal. Payan Bertrand (PB) a fragrance manufacturer based in the heart of the perfume industry Grasse, France, identified the opportunity of being represented in South Africa by an already well-established distributor and quickly partnered with Natchem.
Partnerships with principals
Payan Bertrand was, and still is, a family owned business, established in 1854. At first, they produced mainly essential oils and various aromatic compounds. Today, the company supplies ingredients to both the food and fragrance industry. In 2004, the year of their 150th anniversary, a second production unit dedicated to fragrance compounds was opened to cope with the growing demand for its products.
‘It is with great pride that Natchem can now boast that it is Payan Bertrand’s number one distributor worldwide,’ says Price. Payan Bertrand is a member of PRODAROM and IFEAT (International Federation of Essential Oil and Aroma Trades) and offers a range of organic essential oils complying with CEE 2092/91 regulations.
‘Here, quality combined with Natchem’s renowned service and enthusiasm has proved to be a winning formula. A policy of no customer is too small, has opened up a huge untapped market. Natchem has a policy of training and teaching entrepreneurs the ins and outs of the cosmetic and perfume business, enabling these entrepreneurs to go out into the market and market their own home grown products.’
Natchem has also been the proud distributors of phytelene botanical extracts for the past 28 years. Phytelene extracts are produced by Greentech, based in Biopôle Clermont Limagne France. Since 1992, Greentech has been developing and producing active ingredients from plants, algae, micro-algae and biotechnology in cosmetic, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical fields. Greentech, one of the first companies to obtain Ecocert, and NaTrue certifications, ISO 22716 and GMP, is working with local producers for the realisation of long-term international co-operation by sharing mutual benefits.
Locally, Fourchem, which is based in Cape Town and owned by Warren Bunting, is Natchem’s distributor for the Western Cape.
Where to next?
Margaret Price has been the backbone of Natchem for the last 12 years, taking charge of the administration, ensuring the smooth running of the company. Margaret and Byron are supported by a contingent of ten passionate and enthusiastic staff members. Price boasts the fact that his personal assistant, Rene Rannachan, has been with him for 27 years.
‘The road forward for Natchem is very positive, filled with never-ending challenges. The passion and enthusiasm, which has helped Natchem to achieve the great success it is today, will continue into the future.’
The future and continued success of Natchem will be passed on to the second family generation David Stockenstrom, son in law, who presently heads the Natchem sales division.
Source: Nicola Popplewell - P & C Review
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