Five minutes at Sepawa with …
H&PC: You are specialized in multifunctionals: why and how?
Jorit Tessmann: Many preservatives such as parabens, for example, are critically discussed due to negative side effects. Cosphatec is specialized in alternative preservatives – called multifunctionals. They are natural and combine a strong antimicrobial activity with skin conditioning properties. We also meet the increasing demand for non GMO and vegan products and are proud to have been one of the first companies offering a vegan, crystal clear Xanthan Gum, for example.
In addition we are also RSPO certified and very well prepared in terms of the next REACH regulations. Most of our customers are coming from the natural cosmetic sector. We deal with a broad range of small and medium-sized companies and with large manufacturers for the mass market as well.
What makes us very special is that we offer excellent technical and regulatory support. We are very flexible and like to be involved in the customer’s phase of new formulations. We can quickly reproduce issues in our lab and solve specific problems and enquiries.
H&PC: And in fact you have a strong focus on R&D, which helps meeting these demands.
JT: We are about 30 people and very technically orientated. More than ten colleagues work full time in R&D on developing formulations, solving technical issues or researching for new raw materials and alternative methods of preservation.
We have one production manager who ensures that our materials meet all quality criteria. Our regulatory team ensures that we have all important documentation and statements available. In addition we are working intensely on having innovative new products patented. Many of our technical people travel a lot to search for innovative raw materials and to discover new trends, like sheet masks from Korea.
H&PC: Sheet masks?
JT: Sheet masks are woollen or cotton face-shaped masks soaked with serums that can be applied to the face. We are trying to redesign these masks with using a combination of our Xanthan Gum and Konjac Gum. For these masks and other products we are developing water soluble natural extracts that are effective against bacteria, yeast and moulds without affecting your formulation in smell and colour. At the moment we are very successful with our magnolia extract, which has impressive MIC values.
H&PC: Is Korea or, in general, Asia one of your focuses then?
JT: Europe is still our strongest market, but we are aware that Asia has huge potential and a very innovative and demanding market in cosmetics. To respond to these needs we founded a subsidiary in Shanghai last year and are lucky to have Matthias Hentz on board. He has a lot of experience in our industry and will manage the AP market.
H&PC: Demanding how?
JT: The performance of products is much more important than an Eco certification or 100% natural ingredients. This is different for example from the German market, where customers require natural and non-synthetic formulations. Chemical preservatives in Asia are still very strong and it takes a lot of scientific proofs and tests to convince them from effective natural alternatives.
H&PC: What about US?
JT: We see big potential in the US as well. We have concrete expansion plans together with our well-networked partners Ross Organic for the East Coast and AIC for the West Coast. A new Sales Director for The Americas will be engaged in 2018. This strategy is in line with our plans to strengthen the sales force in all other sales areas.
H&PC: Do you see an effect from the geopolitical shifts, such as Brexit?
JT: Like in prior years we sustainably grew in 2017 and did not recognize any negative effect until now. However, we would be careful to invest in the UK at the moment. We as a company believe in the European Union as an economic success model, especially for exporting countries like Germany.