Q: This has been a challenging year for many businesses; how have you found it at Citrefine?
JW: It has been an excellent year for Citrefine. We have seen record growth and have significantly increased our volumes of Citriodiol® in every region, as well as expanding into new markets with some great customer product launches.
Nevertheless, with the pandemic, the last 6 months or so have brought some real challenges – as they have to all businesses. Our employees have been brilliant at adapting to the changing ways of working, with the majority now working from home all, or most of the time and for those in the office we have a fully Covid compliant workplace.
We have been able to keep all our people fully employed throughout the pandemic period and have worked closely with our manufacturers to ensure that we have stock to meet customer demand.
Q: What do you have planned for 2021?
JW: After a really successful 2020, we are keen to invest in our people and have added senior Commercial and Regulatory members to our team. This will help us enhance our customer service but these new team members will have a real focus on business development and projects, so will give us greater capacity to see a number of projects through without impacting our day-to-day customer service.
We also have plans to recruit additional sales, technical and operations resource in the coming year. This will give us an even better range of skills and the ability to continue to provide an excellent service to our growing customer base.
Q: The technical team is a key resource – any developments there?
JW: Yes, absolutely. We are in the process of converting a part of our office into a brand new laboratory. This will give us a separate equipment room for our GCs as well as a large wet lab and space for our growing technical team in a newly refurbished office. This will allow George and the technical team to undertake both Quality Control and formulation work more effectively as well as supporting specific customer requirements.
Q: Customers often ask about innovations – what is in the pipeline at Citrefine?
JW: We are always working on new developments. I can’t provide details about these but I can say that they involve both Citriodiol® as an Active Substance and formulations, or ways of using Citriodiol® differently. These ideas have come from discussions with customers as well as from our R&D team and we believe they will offer real opportunities to broaden the market for Citriodiol®-based products.
As you can imagine, there are often both technical and regulatory challenges with product development, but we are confident that we will be able to share details of these innovations during 2021 and provide our customers with new ways to use Citriodiol®.
Q: One of the key benefits of Citriodiol® is its environmental credentials, are there any developments in this area?
JW: Yes, we are currently working on a project to measure the carbon footprint of Citriodiol®. We are working with forestry experts based in the US to take an end-to-end view of the process for the production and use of Citriodiol®. We hope this will help us and our customers, understand just how green this process is. Watch this space!
Q: What are you most proud of when you look back at 2020?
JW: Unquestionably it is the way the whole team at Citrefine has worked so well together, despite all the challenges thrown at us, to produce our best year ever. It is such a pleasure to work with each and every person at Citrefine – they all make my job easy.
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