We substantially expanded our competencies in the past years and tapped into new growth fields. Now we must focus on connecting these new application areas with the traditional ones. That is why we are pushing interconnectedness across all levels – with our customers, suppliers and even within the company. We also managed to expand our market position in every region and have further built upon the extensive trust that customers have for us. Here, we always keep the twin ideals of sustainability and economic success in view. At the same time, we bolstered our portfolio, both in terms of content and regions, so that we can better react to the political and economic uncertainties in some countries. Last, but not least, we strengthened our innovative abilities via cooperation within the company and with external partners.
We combine commercial success with sustainability by constantly ensuring that every step in the value chain relates back to what we are doing. This starts with the raw materials. We source them from around the world and often from less developed nations. Take vanilla, for example. Here, we ensure that the farmers are paid a fair price for their goods and that environmental aspects are considered in the growing process. We also ensure that absolutely no child labor occurs. Over the past ten years, we have been committed to improving education and health care in Madagascar, where our vanilla is grown. We have established production facilities there that meet the environmental standards of the developed world. Our local business activity contributes to the livelihood of more than 30,000 people. Something similar is being developed in the Amazon region in Brazil. We established a site in the rainforest that researches new, sustainable raw materials for perfumes in close cooperation with Brazil’s top cosmetics manufacturer Natura. At the same time, many families in the region are benefiting from our commitments there.