Subcontractor of McDonald’s, Burger King or Coca-Cola, Be Brothers completes its transformation, constrained and forced, due to the ban on plastic straws imposed by Europe since the 1er January 2021. Since 2019, this company based in Donzy, in Nièvre, will have invested 8 million euros to transform its industrial toolwith financing combining equity, loans, aid from the region and Bpifrance.
Of the 45 manufacturing lines for plastic straws that it had before, only six remain today, to still supply its customers who export to Asia and to manufacture its “cheese straws” which are still authorized as packaging. But in place of the discarded machines, eleven spiraling machines have been installed to roll up the paper for the new biodegradable straws.
From 80 to 105 employees
“Either we stopped everything, or we invested. The Be family has chosen to carry on and keep everyone says Vincent Pajot, financial manager of this 100% family-owned Burgundian company run by Frederic and Pierre Be.
In 2020, the SME had accused a loss of 2.2 million euros. Its turnover, which had then fallen to 6.6 million euros, rose to 8.5 million in 2021. The company is aiming for 11 million euros in 2022.
“It’s not completely won yet, the returns are less good, but we have proven that we can generate cash and the activity will soon be profitable,” says Vincent Pajot, who monitors the improvement of the process. industrial like milk on fire. The new machines also require more hands and the workforce is already went from 80 employees to 105 employees. But recruiting in the Nièvre is not easy, and there are still about fifteen people short of the recruitment targets.
Originally, this SME that arrived from the Paris region in 1958 used duck feathers to make straws and toothpicks, a natural material replaced by plastic in the 1960s which opened up the market for advertising straws.