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Public authorities and business representatives get together to restore the Diadema Cosmetics Cluster

In 2002, the city of Diadema began to recover from the deindustrialization process that devastated Sao Paulo’s metropolitan region during the 1990s, when around 120,000 jobs were slashed and unemployment reached alarming levels of 23% in the cities surrounding the state capital.

Iliomar Darronqui

Iliomar Darronqui

Recognizing the potential of the city, which gathers companies from the entire cosmetics supply chain – from manufacturers of beauty products to specialists in packaging and valves –, the Diadema City Hall got together with business leaders and created the Diadema Cosmetics Cluster in May of that year. The goal was to optimize local production, increase jobs and boost the region’s economy.

The gamble paid off. The cosmetics cluster was projected onto the Brazilian scenario, attracting new businesses to the region, creating 11,000 jobs and accounting for 4.5% of the taxes collected in the city and 12% of the Brazilian cosmetic industry’s total revenues.

However, disagreements between managers of the cluster and the departure of companies from Diadema in search of tax incentives, particularly in the countryside and coastline of Sao Paulo, led to the members dispersing and leaving the project aside. It continued to exist, but without the strength that had made it a national reference.

Since 2011, many initiatives have attempted to recover the strength of the Diadema Cosmetics Cluster, without much success. But the current municipal administration has been showing more concrete activities. “The management of mayor Lauro Michels opened conversations with business leaders to reactivate this industry,” says Iliomar Darronqui, Secretary for Economic Development and Work of Diadema.

According to Darronqui, Diadema is the second biggest city in the manufacturing of cosmetics in Brazil, with around 100 industrial plants linked to the cluster. “The chemical industry, which includes cosmetics and plastics, is the largest employer in the city, generating 14,000 direct and indirect jobs,” he says. Within the chemical industry, the cosmetics category had a 3.57% increase in jobs between January 2013 and March 2014, compared with the figures at the end of 2012. “It is an industry that brings jobs and income to Diadema in the industrial, commercial and service fields,” says Darronqui.

Among the activities held by public authorities to restore the industrial cluster, he points out seminars about the beauty industry, the creation of Brazil’s first higher education course in Cosmetics, offered by the Sao Paulo State Technological Colleges (FATEC) of Diadema, and the support to the Via Rápida Empresa, a state program that enables an enterprise to be registered in up to working days.

The cluster’s latest initiative was Cosmo Beleza, a trade show organized by the Diadema City Hall and the Trade and Business Association in August. With the purpose of promoting integration of the cosmetics supply chain, the event attracted traders, distributors, professionals and manufacturers. “The trade fair will help bring business together. Participants of this first edition have already enrolled for next year’s event,” Darronqui says.

The project has had a positive effect on Diadema so far. Supplier of sample sachets Grand Pack invested in the expansion of its Diadema plant in 2013. In January this year, FAV105, which produces fragrances and aromas and is the exclusive distributor of Swiss company Firmenich in Brazil, left São Paulo and moved to Diadema. Santos-based company Romans Cosméticos, manufacturer of shower gels made from goat’s milk, also transferred its plant to Diadema at the beginning of the year.

Renata Martins

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© 2014 - Brazil Beauty News - www.brazilbeautynews.com

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