IFF Shares 130 Years of its Storied History and Limitless Future
International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (NYSE: IFF) (Euronext Paris: IFF) (TASE: IFF), is celebrating its 130-year anniversary with an appreciation of its past, its extraordinary people and a look to its boundless future.
IFF Chairman & CEO Andreas Fibig commented, “The incredible growth and success IFF has enjoyed through its 130-year journey didn’t happen on its own. We are the result of every win, challenge and fortune that we have experienced since our inception in the 19th century. But more than anything, it is a story best told through our people.”
From humble beginnings to IFF
On January 27, 1889, when Leopold Schwarz and Josef Polak officially turned their kitchen table startup into Polak & Schwarz (P&S), it is a safe bet that they couldn’t imagine what this fledgling company would become. Mr. Schwarz was simply following a passion for spices and essences, moving from the bakery ingredients sales job he’d begun as a teenager. But under their capable hands, P&S grew.
Fast-forward to 1917. Mr. Polak left the young company, but Mr. Schwarz persevered. He established P&S in many countries, but set his sights opening an office in the United States. As IFF folklore states, the “enterprising Dutchman,” Arnold Louis van Ameringen was hired to open P&S’s first US facility. Shortly after Mr. van Ameringen’s arrival in the US, P&S let him go. Undaunted, he quickly established van Ameringen & Co., selling both flavors and fragrances. Both companies prospered.
In 1958, Mr. van Ameringen shared the news that his company, evolved into van Ameringen-Haebler, and Polak & Schwarz, would merge to become International Flavors & Fragrances Inc., with him as president. The irony of helming the company that fired him 41 years earlier was never lost on him.
“One of the hallmarks of IFF and its predecessor companies has been the passion of its people,” said IFF Chairman & CEO Andreas Fibig. “Throughout our history, we have been fortunate to share our lives with some truly spectacular colleagues – people unafraid to speak their mind, to turn dreams to reality, or to buck convention. We embrace these changemakers. They have shaped our company and the world.”
Take Dr. Braja Mookherjee, for example. An IFFer for 38 years, he was a scientist with the soul of an artist. He embodied everything IFF strives for and his impact on the flavors and fragrances industry reached much further than the greenhouse he ran. He dreamed big – all the way to outer space – and pondered the effect of microgravity on the aroma molecules of a living rose. On October 29, 1998, his “Overnight Sensation,” a miniature rose plant, became the most famous payload aboard the NASA Space Shuttle mission STS-95, while IFF monitored the control plant back on earth. The findings showed that the three major chemical components of the flower changed dramatically in microgravity; causing a difference in fragrance. "This transformation has created a completely new fragrance that is not of this earth," he stated. His spirit of discovery and innovation lives on at IFF.
Our story continues…
“IFF has changed and reinvented itself many times over its 130 years, but the past five years has seen its biggest shift to date,” continued Mr. Fibig. “With an unprecedented innovation pipeline and the acquisition of Frutarom, we are a new company yet again. The magnitude of our talent, the increase in our portfolio and offerings to our customers, and our expanded geographical and customer reach is unparalleled in our history.”
“Our story continues to unfold and I have never been more optimistic about our future,” Mr. Fibig concluded. “I want to recognize every IFFer that made this great company their passion. I honor our past leaders for rising to extraordinary challenges and taking the right risks. I thank our customers, big and small, for their partnership and shared vision. IFF is what it is today because of the relationships we’ve forged through good times and challenging ones, from the risks we’ve undertaken and those thrust upon us. We wear our age, history and our scars with pride and I know they make us stronger and more confident about our future than ever.”
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International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (NYSE:IFF) (Euronext Paris: IFF) (TASE: IFF) is a leading innovator of scent, taste, and nutrition, with over 110 manufacturing facilities, 100 R&D centers, and 33,000 customers globally. At the heart of our company, we are fueled by a sense of discovery, constantly asking “what if?”. That passion for exploration drives us to co-create unique products that consumers experience in more than 150,000 unique products sold annually. Our 13,000 team members globally take advantage of leading consumer insights, naturals exploration, research and development, creative expertise, and customer intimacy to develop differentiated offerings for consumer products.
International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.
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