Naturex CEO talks HQ expansion, green credentials and the memory of Jacques Dikansky


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CEO Thierry Lambert at the opening of its revamped French HQ: "...there is still a lot of room for expansion."
CEO Thierry Lambert at the opening of its revamped French HQ: "...there is still a lot of room for expansion."

Related tags Sustainability

Naturex hosted 500 of its employees and guests the weekend just passed as it inaugurated a €12m expansion of its Avignon HQ in southern France. We caught up with CEO Thierry Lambert who said further expansion at its other global sites was very much on the agenda for the €300m business with 15 production units in Europe, the US, Brazil, Australia, Morocco and India.

"The new dimension of the Avignon site will help boost our offer anticipating market needs and optimise the development of future projects at the international level,"​ says CEO Thierry Lambert.

"We are proud to continue to globally develop from this region and contribute to the growth of our business with a sustainable development approach."

Room to move

More specifically, Lambert said Naturex would look to expand its acquisition sites in Spain (Natraceutical) and Poland (Pektowin).

“These are the sites where we have some space available where we can expand – some unused buildings,”​ he said.

“In India we bought a small company which gives us a foothold and we are planning to invest and double the size of the factory there to be able to service the needs of our customers.”

With activity in food supplements, food, cosmetics and pharma, further acquisitions were part of the company’s plans, the CEO said.

“We will continue to acquire other companies – if and when possible, yes. Our structure is still concentrated … we are always interested in good new products or technology. For example our last acquisition of cranberry [Decas Botanical Synergies in the US] or we plan to go deeper in some new markets like we did in India last year.”

“Other markets interest us like China. We are in China but we do not yet have a production facility there.”

“So there is still a lot of room for expansion organically and of course through acquisition.”

In the memory of Jacques Dikansky

At the launch Lambert said a moment was taken to remember Jacques Dikansky, the founder and former CEO who died after a long illness at the end of last year. The two men spent the better part of two decades building Naturex from a start-up to the world’s biggest botanical extracts supplier.

“During the event last Saturday one of the things I underlined was that Jacques Dikansky would have been so happy,”​ Lambert said.

“We have worked together for 20 years developing this company and unfortunately he died without seeing this expansion and that is sad but I guess everybody in the company had a thought for him on Saturday.”

A green balcony inside the new premises

Going green

The new Avignon site was three years in the making and was built with sustainability concepts to the forefront that significantly to its overall €12m cost.

“For a company like Naturex to create a new building we needed to take its sustainability into consideration. We have designed a building which is very low in energy use with a lot of sustainable features.”

“It increased the cost by 20-30% but that is the way that it must be done.”

Lambert said the company’s other sites were also being made more eco-friendly.

“We have made a lot of efforts to make them more eco-friendly in water treatment capabilities and making programmes for the protection of the environment and reducing Co2 and things like that. It’s a big part of what we consider when we invest.”

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