Scheduled to begin operation mid 2006, the firm's Shanghai office will support Treatt's existing sales and marketing efforts in the region and work alongside its current agent Ter Chemicals Hong Kong and its local distributor.
"This is a positive move for us," said Hugo Bovill, Treatt managing director.
"Opening an office in China will enhance our ability to respond to current and future customer requirements, benefiting both our global and national customers in this rapidly growing region."
The market for flavours has, historically, been dominated by suppliers from the US, Japan and Western Europe - in particular, France, the UK, Germany and Switzerland. However these traditional flavour production areas could begin to lose market share to developing areas of the world as the product range and demand expands.
According to a recent report from Freedonia, China leads the way in spurring growth in Asia Pacific, a region slated to advance at about 7.3 per cent, year on year, until 2008. This compares to Western Europe and the US with 3.7 and 3.3 per cent growth respectively.
As a result, companies such as Treatt are looking to get a piece of the action. For example, leading flavours house Givaudan recently revealed that its new facility in Shanghai, which it says will be the worlds largest flavours plant, is nearing completion.
The new creation, technology and production centre, first announced in 2004, is on track to be fully operational from August. It marks a significant expansion for the company that made a modest investment in China with its first plant in 1997.
China accounted for 3-4 per cent of Givaudan's SF2.8bn (1.8bn) revenue in 2005 but represents a significant opportunity for future growth, according to the company.
Treatt China will be managed by Rowan Sham. Sham previously worked at Haarmann & Reimer and Bush Boake Allen in a purchasing role and has over 14 years' experience in the flavour and fragrance industry.
"We are delighted that Rowan, with her exceptional industry experience, will be managing the operation," said Bovill. "We wish her every success in her new job."
Treatt is an independent ingredients supplier to the flavour and fragrance industries. The company manufactures and supplies a vast inventory of products including essential oils and their natural fractions, speciality chemicals and a range of Treattarome natural distillates.