42 FOOD & BEVERAGE ASIA AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2018 ON THE TABLE B arentz is a leading international distributor of high-quality ingredients for thepharmaceutical, personal & home care, food & nutrition, and animal nutrition industries. Since its inception in 1953, the Netherlands-headquartered company has grown its customer base across 60 countries, aswell as continually expanded itswide-ranging portfolio through strategic partnerships with world class suppliers, joint venture partners and its own production companies. Just six years ago, Barentz set up itsAsia Paci̬c headquarters in Singapore to manage the region. Read on to discover what Barentz has learnt from the markets in Asia and its plans moving forward. Can you share about the beginnings of Barentz here in this region? Harald Mullens (HM): Firstly, we saw an opportunity here to get closer to the customers of Vitablend, one of our in-house principals. They were AAA certi̬ed global early life nutrition manufacturers who had established entities in the region. Thus we started here in 2012 with Vitablend’s production facility for nutritional premixes and antioxidant blends before rolling out distribution activities in the region one year later. What have been the top challenges faced by your customers in Asia in the formulation of food products? HM: What we see is that there is a demand for unique healthy products, but at the same time there are regulatory hurdles that have to be overcome when new concepts and products are introduced to the market. To help manufacturers tackle this on the local and global level, we bring our knowledge and expertise to our chosen partners in the di ̫ erent regions that we are active in. We also see that our customers face di ̮ culties accessing information on the latest innovative ingredients that have been launched in the market. In the many Asian trade shows where we are present, we introduce new interesting ingredients, often applied in a food concept that we sample. An example is Parabel's LENTEIN plant protein, which amazed the visitors at FI Vietnam. We will also be at Fi Asia held at Jakarta in October. In what w ays does Barentz stand out from its competitors in the same field? Not Just Any Distributor Barentz is one of the leading global ingredient distributors in the world today. Mr. Harald Mullens , General Manager at Vitablend and Barentz Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. reveals how the company is working to bridge the gap between its suppliers and customers.