British housewares manufacturer Betterware plc, and its U.S. joint venture partner, Avon Products International Inc., have launched a new company to promote a range of plastic molded and other products in Brazil.
The firm, Betterware do Brasil of SÃo Paulo, Brazil, began operating in July and is offering 150 products, including imported plastic utensils, food containers, bathroom items and clothes covers and racks.
It markets products throughout Brazil via home-delivered catalogs, like its Birmingham, England-based parent. Betterware products are brought in from abroad, although some may be produced locally in time.
``We are looking at manufacturing a number of products out there using our own tooling,'' said Peter Hartley, managing director of Betterware plc.
Custom molders manufacture products for Betterware in Britain.
He said local production is a logical extension of the firm's plans, once it reaches a point where local manufacturing is more profitable.
Betterware creates designs for many of its own products and contracts toolmakers to manufacture molds for injection and other molded plastic products, Hartley said. It markets 400 plastic and nonplastic items.
Avon, based in New York, also markets a range of its products through catalog sales.
The new 50-50 Brazilian joint venture is the latest in a series being established in Latin America since the two partners agreed to cooperate in North and South America in September 1994.
The companies set up joint ventures in Celaya, Mexico, in June 1995 and in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in August 1996, Hartley said.
In Britain, Betterware plastic goods are outsourced from eight custom molders. The Mexican joint venture, Betterware de Mexico SA de CV, already has four outside molders using the firm's own molds for part of its product line.
Hartley said the joint ventures are a long-term project, and other subsidiaries will be opened elsewhere in Latin America in due course. He believes that within 10 years the business could be worth ``hundreds of millions of dollars.''