The Company was founded in 1973 as Agar Brasileiro Indústria e Comércio Ltda.. We began our activities as an exporter of seaweeds to Japanese industries. Envisaging a possibility to industrialize the raw materials we were exporting, we invested in the acquisition of process technology to manufacture the agar-agar industrial gum.
We hired specialized engineers in Japan, and in 1978 we started to industrialize seaweed on a small scale. We faced all kinds of starting-out difficulties that any small outfit with scarce financial resources faces. Furthermore, there was compounded the inadequate technology to Brazilian conditions. However, still motivated by a vision and an ideal of entrepreneurial success, we kept our operations up along all these years. We developed and improved our own process technology, which allowed us to expand little by little our sales for the domestic market. In 1993, aiming to diversify our line of products, we started the manufacture of carageenan gum and an extract of seaweed.
In 1998, in order to improve our productive processes, we implemented a modernization program at our industrial plant. We acquired new equipments and implemented personnel training programs for improved operational skills. Thereby, we obtained superior products, gains in productivity, an increase in our productive capacity and greater competitiveness for our products vis-à-vis the international market.
In 2003, we celebrated 30 years of activities supplying seaweed derivatives. Therefore, we redesigned our visual identity. We created the AgarGel brand to represent our company within the new expansionist reality and our increasing insertion into the global market.
BUSINESS STRUCTURE AND OPERATION
INFRASTRUCTUREOur manufacturing plant is strategically located inside an area of 15,000 m² within the industrial district of João Pessoa, in the state of Paraíba. Since this is a region rich in sea resources, we have access to an abundant supply of raw materials. Our plant operates a production line using equipment and systems that have been especially developed to attain increased productivity and improved process quality.
We own an ample area to store and to handle raw materials, as well as an administrative area where our lab, the offices, a dining area and a leisure area are located. Our installations to provide public utilities such as natural gas, steam, electric power and water, are efficient and functional. Currently, we directly employ 60 workers distributed among the different sectors of our company, as well as 700 to 1000 indirect employees for the cultivation and harvesting of seaweed along the seacoast of Northeastern Brazil.
THE PRODUCTION PROCESSOur productive process is based on the Gel Press method which is made-up of the following stages: selection of raw materials, chemical treatment, washing, hot extraction, filtering, gelling, pressing, drying, grinding, standardizing and packaging.
QUALITY CONTROLStrict quality control techniques are used throughout all the stages of our productive process, beginning with the acquisition of raw materials and ranging to the manufacture of the final product aiming to comply with the most demanding technical specifications.
We carry out quality control procedures that range from simple ones regarding the weight and humidity of the seaweed down to the most complex analyses regarding the sulphate contents of the final product. We operate a very functional lab that contains all the equipment needed to make quality control test of any physical, chemical or microbial property. Our quality control insures the uniformity and consistency of our products to make them fit in any specifications and industrial applications.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENTThrough partnerships with other companies, research institutes and universities, our technical staff has been able to keep up a continued research and development program regarding products and applications that are based on hydrocolloids and seaweeds.
By using the most up to date standards, models and know-how, we are able to develop seaweed hydrocolloids with specific chemical properties for stabilizing, thickening and texturizing your product in just about any application.
CLIENTS, SUPPLIERS AND COLLABORATORSSetting up solid and lasting relationships with clients, suppliers and collaborators is one of the paramount principles of our company. We try to understand and to cater to the needs of our clients, by providing them with high quality products and innovative solutions. From our suppliers, we require honesty, ethical behavior, good prices, adequate communication and an ability to supply and attend to our needs with quality and competence. To our collaborators, we attempt to provide an adequate work place that is pleasant, safe and healthy. We treat them with respect, ethics, integrity, transparency and professionalism.
ENVIRONMENT AND SEAWEED CULTIVATIONThe development and implementation of environment management systems is a constant concern to our company. In order to be in continued compliance with the environmental laws and regulatory norms, we operate in our plant an effluent treatment facility, using the method of anaerobic reactors with ascending flow. We are continuously working to identify and evaluate environment-related aspects as well as the hazards associated to our operation, in order to always improve the control and management of enviromental aspects of our operational activities.
Our company is constantly investing in training programs for people living in the seashore communities. These programs enable them to cultivate and harvest seaweed in a sustainable way, without any harm or degradation to the environment. Moreover, they make of this activity a perennial source of income.