The company told us the deal was made for two strategic reasons: To help it overcome business culture differences and to begin an NPD partnership with the distributor.
Earlier this month Nutress announced that it would start producing a second closed-system strain: Chlorella vulgaris. Founded in 2012, the company already produced Chlorella sorokiniana.
Previously the company sold its powder and capsule microalgae products directly to customers under its own brand Essentials and as private label. Now those deals would be made through Harke Pharma in the DACH countries.
Anneke Roes, communication officer, said cultural differences between countries in Europe also filtered into company culture. The Harke Pharma partnership would not only allow the company to talk the same language as its German-speaking customers, but it would also help it speak the same business language.
“We Dutch are very straight forward and quick in doing business, but different countries have different ways of doing things and different channels.”
She said in Dutch businesses you could just pick up the phone to strike a deal and employees used their employer's first names. German culture was changing but in business it still remained relatively formal and hierarchical by comparison.
She also gave the example of Italy, where there was a culture of “who knows who” and business lunches.
The partnership also sees Harke Pharma and Nutress working together to develop new products, the first of which will be launched at the Vitafoods Europe trade show in Geneva in May.
Nutress supplies algae across Europe to the feed, food, pharma and nutraceutical sector. All other regions see Nutress working directly with customers, although it is looking to make similar distribution partnerships in these areas.