February 4, 2020 marked the 100th birthday of bakery, patisserie and chocolate leader Puratos. A milestone that is celebrated by its 9,500 employees in the 70 countries where the group is present. To honor its century-long commitment to innovation, Puratos will launch new innovation centers in three continents in 2020. To continue its international expansion and engagement with emerging markets, Puratos signed two new joint
ventures in Kenya & Ethiopia in January. The group looks forward to the next 100 years with a strong commitment to customers and future generations, as well as a continued focus on innovation, health and well-being.
Commenting on this important milestone for the group, Puratos CEO Daniel Malcorps said: “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.”
Innovation is in Puratos’s DNA
For a century, Puratos has been committed to innovation. The family company, which started in a Belgian garage with the vision of simplifying the lives of bakers and confectioners, has become one of the world’s leading ingredients manufacturers. It is hard
to imagine the bakery, chocolate and patisserie sectors today without Puratos innovations. From the launch of the first branded bread (Pura-Malté) to the discovery of the now
legendary T-500, Puratos has been at the forefront of change.Today, Puratos invests 2.7% of its annual revenue in R&D and the group employs more than 1,000 scientistsin 71 R&D centers and 88 innovation centers across the globe.
Complementing these efforts in 2020 will be the launch of three new innovation centers in Taiwan, Brazil and Mexico. In Europe, 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.
Health and well-being have always been a top priority
Puratos has always been a trailblazer in health and well-being, even as early as the 1920s when the group launched its Pura-Malté bread. Pura-Malté was based on a mixture of toasted wheatgerm, malt and bran, and was revolutionary for its time. Today, this commitment remains as relevant as ever. Taste Tomorrow, the world’s largest consumer survey in bakery, patisserie and chocolate, confirms that health is still one of the
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. Health and well-being continue to be the priority in Puratos’ product development processes, and the company works constantly to produce products with the highest possible nutritional value
without compromising taste or quality.
100 years of passion and expansion
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% of the group’s revenue is generated outside Belgium, of which nearly one third is produced in emerging markets.
This year, Puratos will strengthen its position overseas, specifically on the African continent with the creation of two joint-ventures in Kenya and Ethiopia. This local presence in key countries will enable Puratos to strengthen relationships with customers, localize production and develop new products and concepts using local raw materials.
What about the next 100 years?
Sustainability: The Cacao-Trace Program
An example of Puratos’s commitment to sustainability is its gamechanging approach to the responsible sourcing of cocoa. Unlike other cocoa sustainability programs, Puratos Cacao-Trace focuses on quality rather than quantity. Through Cacao-Trace, Puratos helps farmers deliver cocoa beans of superior quality, which in turn earn them extra revenue. This Puratos unique added value strategy is resulting in tangible impacts on farmers’ living income.
Thanks to this program and by increasing farmers’ living income, farming will remain an attractive activity for them to pass on to their children and build a promising future for the next century and beyond.
Community: bakery schools that bring hope to
As a family company, Puratos believes it is important to make an impact in the world that goes beyond economic value and one way that we address this is through our Bakery School Foundation. When the company began operating in India, it was struck by the lack of educational opportunities for underprivileged youngsters. 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 those less fortunate and teach them the skills they needed to work in our industry, Puratos decided to open a bakery school and then later, established a foundation. Today, the Bakery School Foundation has already invested in bakery schools in India, Brazil, Mexico and South
Africa. 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 bakeryschools.
Puratos CEO Daniel Malcorps concluded: “We are already looking at the next 100 years in terms of innovation, sustainability and expansion. We have already achieved a 2B euros ($2.195B US) revenue and we aim to reach 5B euro ($5.47B US) by 2030. This will be possible thanks to having the right people at all levels of the company, from employees to board members.” https://www.puratos.com/about-puratos/our-history