Like most of the top F&F companies, France-based Robertet has a worldwide presence. What’s unusual is the company’s continued devotion to naturals, which inspired François Chauve to form the company back in 1850. So how does a company stay competitive while remaining loyal to its overriding mission? Philippe Maubert, chairman, spoke to P&F magazine about the challenges imposed by increasing regulations and emerging competition, as well as how Robertet finds new methods to overcome them.
Robertet: At a glance
1850: François Chauve starts the company, La Fabrique, in France and appoints his nephew, Jean-Baptiste Maubert, to manage the manufacturing.
1875: Paul Robertet acquires the company and renames it Robertet.
1888: A corporation is created under the name of P. Robertet & Cie.
1923: Maurice Maubert, Jean-Baptiste’s son, takes over.
1961: Jean and Paul Maubert, Maurice’s sons, take over. While consolidating Robertet’s reputation in the area of natural raw materials, this third generation resolutely carried on a strategy of diversification—both in terms of outside market and in the nature of its products: compounds and bases for perfumery in 1953, flavors in 1964, creation of agro-industrial units on the production sites, the construction at Keçiborlu in Anatolia, the first factory using modern extraction and distillation technologies, and processes for Rosa damascena. Jean Maubert began creating subsidiaries in the major world centers that were equipped with research and development laboratories, most of which had blending units. Therefore, a succession of Robertet companies appeared: Robertet USA, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and the United Kingdom, along with sales in Japan, Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Singapore.
1982: An investment program is started at the Plan de Grasse.
1984: Robertet shares enter the Paris stock market.
1986: Robertet takes control of Jay Flavors, renaming it Robertet Flavors and thereby beginning its activity in the US food flavors market.
1993: Philippe Maubert, Jean Maubert’s son, takes over the chairmanship.
1995: Robertet takes control of Novarome, becoming Robertet Fragrances and thereby improving the presence of its perfumery division in the United States—especially in the area of industrial products.
1999: Robertet inaugurates the new Robertet Flavors factory in Piscataway, NJ.
2001: Robertet acquires the Belgian company PAB from the Danone Group and renames it Robertet Savoury.