Berjé - To your taste

A family-owned business benefitting from over 60 years of experience within essential oils and aromatic chemicals, Berjé is a global distributor supplying the flavour, fragrance, pharmaceutical and allied trades. Marketing analyst Ryan Liegner tells Ingredients Insight how casting a wide sourcing net and keeping a broad, consistent product line means customers can count on a reliable supply, even when the market is tight.

What key services do you offer, and in which international markets are you present?

Ryan Liegner: As a full-service company, we have built up the export capacity to ship our 3,000 products to over 60 countries on six continents. As the global regulatory climate changes, we've made great strides in the past decade to become a well-rounded source of raw materials.

One of our core competencies is the strength of our regulatory division. Being able to keep up with regulations allows us to better serve the needs of our customers, and ultimately provide a discerning new generation of consumers with the peace of mind that they are buying a responsibly sourced and thoroughly safe product.

When it comes to distilling essential oils, do you favour traditional methods such as cold-pressing, or more high-tech solutions?

Both. Our range of CO2 offers a unique range of products but the majority of essential oils are still produced with steam distillation. While tradition plays a major part in our heritage products, we are constantly pursuing new technologies to keep the perfumery and flavour palette fresh. Explorations and partnerships into CO2 extractions, exciting new varietals, and sustainable approaches to global sourcing solutions are all significant focuses at Berjé.

Our distillation operation in the Rose Valley of Bulgaria is dedicated to the production of rose and lavender oils. This agriculture has been a defining feature for the culture of the Rose Valley for several centuries, and Berjé Trakia, our operation there, is an extension of that culture. By using traditional methods of harvesting and distillation, we preserve the culture of an important, growing region, and the time-tested quality of a beautiful and essential ingredient.

Which food and beverage sectors are your flavours most commonly used in, and are you seeing any particular areas of growth?

One sector in which we've seen incredible growth is the craft beer market in the US. Over recent years, beer drinkers have become much more discerning about the ingredients, production and flavour of their beer. Not only has this popularised the addition of citrus and spice ingredients to brewing, but it's also driven the specialised use of hops and their extracts. Our own line of craft hop ingredients caters to this need, giving us the opportunity to be a part of the exciting craft beer trend.

How do you ensure a stable supply of products?

Maintaining a stable supply of natural ingredients has always been difficult; when the size of a crop depends on political strife and global regulation as much as Mother Nature, it pays to cast as wide a sourcing net as you can. By working with suppliers on sustainable approaches and investing in inventory capabilities, we've been able to weather the worst shocks to the market in recent history.

Being present at the farm level in growing areas and maintaining what is arguably the largest inventory in the US has helped us keep these valuable ingredients in our customers' formulas. As a well-entrenched, family-run business, too, our model is laid out to be stable over several generations.

How do you support clients in meeting regulatory requirements?

Over the past decade, it has become clear that the ability to navigate multiple complicated regulatory environments will be ever more important as time goes on. As our customers become subject to more stringent regulations, we've upgraded our entire operation to SQF Level 3 status, and invested heavily in our own analytical and traceability infrastructure.

Are you able to supply your products to organic and clean-label manufacturers?

Our selection of organic products grows constantly, as consumers become increasingly interested in seeing 'organic' on their labels. One of the advantages of having such a close relationship with many suppliers is that we have increased access to ingredients that are produced in a sustainable way. By staying at the forefront of trends in consumer tastes, we've been able to keep up with our customers' needs for organic and clean-label ingredients.

What other developments would you like to share?

Our most notable recent development is the acquisition of CEssence Switzerland, a family-owned producer and distributor of cognac oils. This acquisition contributes to two pillars of our corporate culture: the furtherance of family-owned business, and our commitment to providing customers with the most inclusive suite of ingredients available.

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Contact Details

Berjé Inc.
700 Blair Road
NJ 07008
United States of America
Tel: +1 (973) 748-8980
Fax: +1 (973) 680-9618
Email: [email protected]

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