Belgian ingredient supplier Puratos celebrated its 100th anniversary this month.
The company’s 9,500 employees marked the milestone across its 70 countries. Puratos said it’s moving into the next century with a strong commitment to customers and future generations, as well as a continued focus on innovation, health and well-being.
Puratos CEO Daniel Malcorps noted the company has generated $2.195 billion in revenue and aims to reach $5.74 billion by 2030.
“Our centenary is an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to our vision and our values: a robust scientific approach, a constant quest for innovation, with health and well-being as a cornerstone and a deep-rooted belief in the valuable role that food plays in society,” he said.
To honor its century-long commitment to innovation, Puratos will launch new innovation centers in Taiwan, Brazil and Mexico in 2020. Furthermore, the existing Spanish innovation center will be fully refurbished with state-of-the-art facilities to provide customers with all the tools they need to boost their business.
Puratos invests 2.7 percent of its annual revenue in R&D and the group employs more than 1,000 scientists in 71 R&D centers and 88 innovation centers across the globe.
The company has also signed two new joint ventures in Kenya and Ethiopia in January, which will enable Puratos to strengthen relationships with customers, localize production and develop new products and concepts using local raw materials.
Founded in 1919 in Brussels, Puratos launched Pura-Malté, its first branded bread product. It was based on a mixture of toasted wheat germ, malt and bran.
As early as 1955, Puratos was setting its sights on international expansion when the group began exporting its products to neighboring countries. Global expansion exploded in the 1990s with a number of strategic acquisitions. Today, over 90 percent of the group’s revenue is generated outside Belgium, of which nearly one third is produced in emerging markets.
Puratos also conducts Taste Tomorrow, the world’s largest consumer survey in bakery, patisserie and chocolate. The survey confirms health is still a key criteria for consumers when buying baked goods. Puratos has worked endlessly with customers to improve the nutritional value of its products and launch clearer, ‘cleaner’ labels, as well as organic and plant-based ingredient alternatives.
The company will continue to responsibly source cacao through its Cacao-Trace Program. Through the program, Puratos helps farmers deliver cocoa beans of superior quality, which in turn earn them extra revenue. This added-value strategy is resulting in tangible impacts on farmers’ living income.
Additionally, Puratos’s Bakery School Foundation will continue to support schools in India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa.
When the company began operating in India, it was struck by the lack of educational opportunities for underprivileged young people. At the same time, Puratos noticed the challenge in finding qualified technical advisors, while its customers faced serious shortages of skilled bakers, pâtissiers and chocolatiers. In order to help these communities and teach its members skills to work in the baker and pastry industries, Puratos opened a bakery school and then later, established a foundation.
By 2030, the Bakery School Foundation aspires to continuously enable 1,000 young people from developing countries to live their passion in one of the Puratos bakery schools.