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BBM eNews


By Rick Mullen, Broom, Brush & Mop Associate Editor

 

With the sluggish U.S. economy taking center stage for what will be the third presidential election in the young century this November, much uncertainty abounds in the business sector. With this backdrop, Broom, Brush & Mop Magazine spoke recently with executives from two mop manufacturers, one in the United States and one in Canada, who reported that their respective businesses are doing well, despite U.S. economic and political issues that impact both countries.

 

 

Tim Furgale

The Lafitte Mop production facilities in Villa Rica, GA.

 

 

Lafitte Mop Co., Inc., of Villa Rica, GA, located just west of Atlanta, has been manufacturing mops and other cleaning products for industrial and commercial use since it was founded 38 years ago. With an industry reputation as a company that can turnaround specialty orders quickly, Lafitte Mop offers a variety of mops including launderable, finishing and general maintenance looped-end mops, wet control specialty mops, cut-end mops, roofing mops, dust mops and yacht mops. The company also offers a variety of brooms, wet mop holders and handles.

 

The company’s reputation also extends to offering quality products at various price points, which has been a plus especially during the ongoing sluggish economic situation in the United States.

 

“Business has been steady,” said Cathy Lafitte, who co-owns the company with her husband, John.

 

As a result of uncertainties associated with the current economy, planning ahead has become increasingly difficult for many companies. This is also true for Lafitte Mop with its emphasis on being a specialty manufacturer, according to Cathy Lafitte.

 

“It is a major challenge trying to figure out what is coming next,” Lafitte said. “Customers are tending to hold off placing orders until the last minute to keep their inventories as low as possible. As a result, we are staying on our toes. Rather than planning several months out, we are really only planning weeks ahead.

 

“Our policy is to turn around orders within five to seven work days. Our strong point is we are able to manufacture special orders, which becomes more challenging when customers want them as soon as possible.

 

“Because we have chosen to manufacture in the United States as much as we possibly can, we don’t try to compete with companies that are bringing in container loads of products. Their products are coming in 20 percent lower than our manufacturing costs.”

 

When it comes to raw materials, Lafitte reported that broom corn prices are increasing, while the price of cotton is coming down somewhat.

 

“We pride ourselves on our ability to complete special orders in five to seven working days. We can do this because we can keep our raw material inventories high enough to be prepared when somebody needs something special,” Lafitte said. “We just have to be prepared for the order that is coming around the corner so we can jump on it as soon as it arrives.”

 

Along with the ability to meet customers’ just-in-time delivery needs, Lafitte Mop’s commitment to quality customer service also extends to the home office. Whenever a customer phones the company, he or she will speak to a live person. With a management team who offer 120 years of combined experience, the company is able to provide customers with expert advice and technical assistance.

 

As Lafitte has said before, “Fast turnarounds, quality products, customer service, integrity — these are our foundational principles.”

 

In its manufacturing process, Lafitte mop employs both automation and hand-work. One of the company’s offerings that continues to grow is microfiber products.

 

“This time of year, school systems are purchasing products. Some of them are beginning to look at microfiber as they are hearing about the benefits of using microfiber products,” Lafitte said. “We are seeing an uptick in sales in this part of the market.”

 

Lafitte Mop’s lineup of eco-friendly products also remains popular among customers.

 

“We have a great line of green products,” Lafitte said. “Many customers were turning toward green and microfiber before the economy took a nosedive. When the down economy hit, green products trended back as customers were looking for more cost effectiveness. Now, we are seeing customers coming back to these products.”

 

Lafitte Mop’s environmentally friendly GreenWise line includes wet mops made with Enviro-Color Green and Enviro-Color White yarns, which are spun using 100 percent post-industrial and post-consumer recycled raw material along with post-consumer polyester bottle flakes.

 

In addition, Lafitte Mop’s GreenWise dust mop is made from recycled fibers such as pure green plastic bottle fibers and post-consumer rayon/polyester. The company’s Natural Dust Mop is made using 100 percent cotton yarn with cotton canvas backing.

 

Also included in the GreenWise line are “bamwood” handles, which have replaced hardwoods in many applications. Bamwood handles are constructed of 65 percent bamboo and 35 percent reclaimed hardwood with antioxidant properties to deter bacterial growth.

 

Looking at what challenges the near future may hold, Lafitte is keeping a watchful eye on the economic and political situation in the United States.

 

“Our political situation is a huge challenge for small businesses. At Lafitte Mop, we are between the 11 and 50 employee mark, which means we must comply with many of the regulations out there,” she said. “We are all watching to see what is going to happen in November and hoping it will be favorable for small businesses.

 

“Nobody knows where we are going from minute-to-minute with what new regulations may be coming down the line, and what small businesses are going to have to do.


(Continued on Top Right Column)

“The mop industry has changed so much during the 38 years that we have been in business. Today, I think you have to separate the mop business into two categories — mop manufacturing and mop distributing.

 

“Many of the larger players are really just distributors. They are still manufacturing some, but they are mostly distributing products they import from overseas. As far as domestic manufacturers are concerned, there are not many of us remaining.

 

“You can’t fault the larger companies. They are in it to make money, just like us. Because we are a small, family-owned company, we are able to make the choice to offer American-made products, which is becoming increasingly difficult.

 

“I was told one time by an owner of another company, ‘We are not in this business to make money — we are in it to make friends.’ This is a really nice sentiment that I try to embrace. We have made a lot of wonderful friends in this industry.”

 

Contact: Lafitte Mop Company, Inc.,

445 Industrial Court W., Villa Rica, GA 30180.
Phone: 770-459-5966; Fax: 770-459-1116.
Web site: www.lafittemop.com.

 

 

Tim Furgale

Jim Furgale

 

Founded by Tim Furgale in the early 1960s, Furgale Industries Ltd., of Winnipeg, MB, provides a variety of mop products to the Canadian market. Today, the privately-owned manufacturer is headed by Tim Furgale’s son, Jim Furgale, who is the company’s president.

 

Furgale Industries’ mop offerings include cotton, roller, sponge, dust, and microfiber mops. The company also offers several types of brushes for various uses, including wire brushes, masonry brushes, dish and sink brushes, tile and grout brushes and more. Other products include floor sweeps, various types of brooms, dustpans and pails. Furgale Industries specializes in private label and OEM programs.

 

“Business has been very good the past year,” Jim Furgale said. “There has been a lot of excitement in the marketplace with new customers opening up in Canada. The mop segment of our business has also been growing very well.”

 

While Furgale Industries’ primary customer base has historically been in the retail marketplace, it has expanded into the commercial segment in recent years.

 

“Our expansion into the commercial side of the business has been successful and continues to grow,” Furgale said. “We find this segment complements our retail business, and it has
been good.

 

“Looking ahead, I don’t think we are going to see any ‘huge’ movements in any particular market segment. However, we do have some good opportunities. We have Target stores moving to Canada, which is providing opportunities for Canadian companies. I think we will continue to see American retailers moving into Canada. We look at this trend as an opportunity.”

 

There is a popular saying that goes, “When the United States sneezes, the world catches a cold.” While the Canadian economy has not suffered quite as much as the U.S. economy in recent years, the down economy in the United States has had an impact on Canadian businesses.

 

“The United States is Canada’s largest trading partner,” Furgale said. “Any bumps in the road that the U.S. economy feels, we also feel. Canada is very fortunate that it has had, and continues to have, a very strong banking sector. Therefore, we haven’t been effected the way the United States has with some of the bank failures. Certainly, we have our fingers crossed for the best news possible for the U.S. economy.

 

“In doing business in today’s North American economy, we must work harder. We must stay on top of things and be very aggressive,” Furgale said. “If you snooze, you lose, so to speak.”

 

Furgale also reported that the currency exchange rate between the U.S. and Canadian dollars has not been a problem as of late.

 

“The exchange rate is pretty much par, which has a positive impact,” he said. “This allows trade to go back and forth between Canada and the United Sates without worrying too much about a deficit.”

 

Furgale Industries’ 70,000 square-foot production facility and distribution center helps ensure prompt delivery to its North American customer base. The company takes pride in its fill rates, prompt deliveries and an excellent quality control record — all important aspects of the company’s commitment to offering the best in customer service.

 

“High quality customer service is No. 1 at Furgale Industries. We have a very strong customer service group within the company that works very closely with our sales people,” Furgale said. “There is a great rapport between the customer service and sales departments, which is key to a successful sales endeavor.”

 

To remain competitive in today’s marketplace, Furgale Industries is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery purchased from leading machine manufacturers.

 

“We are automated with the latest in mop and brush making equipment,” Furgale said. “We are vertically integrated and we have our own injection molding operation for our parts.”

 

Despite the pressures brought to bear by today’s economy and competition from other parts of the world, Furgale is optimistic about his company’s future, as well as the future of the mop industry as a whole.

 

“We will continue to have to work hard and struggle with some things, but I am quite positive that Furgale Industries will continue to grow and flourish,” Furgale said. “Certainly, imports from Indonesia and China have an impact, however, the mop industry is pretty stable. Dealing with imports is just the nature of the business. I am confident we will continue to see the North American mop business grow.”

 

Contact: Furgale Industries Ltd.,
324 Lizzie St., Winnipeg, MB R3A 0Y7.
Phone: 204-949-4200; Toll Free: 800-665-0506;
Fax: 204-943-3191.
Website: www.brush.com.



 



 

ISSA Ad

 


 

Imports And Exports Both Record Mixed Results

 

import

Including complete list of May

Import/Export Statistics

 

By Rick Mullen, Broom, Brush & Mop Associate Editor

 

U.S. government trade figures for the first five months of 2012 indicate raw material imports were down in three of the four categories outlined in this issue, compared to the first five months of 2011. For May 2012, raw material imports were up in two of the four categories outlined, compared to May 2011.

 

Import totals for the first five months of 2012 were up in three of the six finished goods categories outlined from the same time period in 2011. In May 2012, three of the six categories outlined also recorded increases, compared to May 2011.

 

RAW MATERIAL IMPORTS

 

Hog Bristles

The United States imported 37,763 kilograms of hog bristle in May 2012, up 8 percent from 34,809 kilograms imported in May 2011. During the first five months of 2012, 124,990 kilograms of hog bristle were imported, a 27 percent decrease from 171,353 kilograms imported during the first five months of 2011.

 

China sent 124,319 kilograms of hog bristle to the United States during the first five months of 2012, while Thailand exported the remainder.

 

The average price per kilogram for May 2012 was $11.93, down 27 percent from the average price per kilogram for May 2011 of $16.43. The average price per kilogram for the first five months of 2012 was $11.29, up 15 percent from $9.84 per kilogram for the first five months of 2011.

 

Broom And Mop Handles

The import total of broom and mop handles during May 2012 was 1.5 million, down 38 percent from 2.4 million for May 2011. During the first five months of 2012, 6.4 million broom and mop handles were imported, down 31 percent from 9.3 million for the first five months of 2011.

 

During the first five months of 2012, the United States received 1.7 million broom and mop handles from Honduras, 1.7 million from Brazil, 1.5 million from China and 1.1 million from Indonesia.

 

The average price per handle for May 2012 was 90 cents, up 3 percent from the average price for May 2011 of 87 cents. The average price for the first five months of 2012 was 81 cents, up 1 cent from the first five months of 2011.

 

Brush Backs

May 2012 imports of brush backs totaled 650,439, up 24 percent from the May 2011 total of 524,072 brush backs. During the first five months of 2012, 3.2 million brush backs were imported, up 39 percent from 2.3 million for the first five months of 2011.

 

Sri Lanka shipped 1.7 million brush backs to the United States during the first five months of 2012, while Canada shipped 1.4 million.

 

The average price per brush back was 44 cents during May 2012, down 2 cents from the average price for May 2011. For the first five months of 2012, the average price per brush back was 46 cents, down 8 percent from the average of the first five months of 2011 of 50 cents.

 

Metal Handles

The import total of metal handles during May 2012 was 2.8 million, down 33 percent from 4.2 million for May 2011. During the first five months of 2012, 9.9 million metal handles were imported, down 31 percent from 14.4 million for the first five months of 2011.

 

During the first five months of 2012, Italy shipped 5.6 million metal handles to the United States, while China sent 3.4 million.

 

The average price per handle for May 2012 was 57 cents, down 5 percent from 60 cents for May 2011. The average price for the first five months of 2012 was 69 cents, down 1 cent from the average price for the first five months of 2011.

 

FINISHED GOODS IMPORTS


Brooms Of Broom Corn

Valued At Less Than 96 Cents

Imports of brooms of broom corn valued at less than 96 cents per broom during May 2012 totaled 21,408, down 33 percent from 31,944 brooms imported during May 2011. During the first five months of 2012, 137,456 brooms of broom corn were imported, compared to 53,880 imported during the first five months of 2011, an increase of 155 percent.

 

Mexico sent 92,736 brooms to the United States during the first five months of 2012, while China shipped the remainder.

 

The average price per broom in May 2012 was 80 cents, down 2 cents from the average price for May 2011. The average price per broom for the first five months of 2012 was 88 cents, up 6 percent from the average price for the first five months of 2011 of 83 cents.

 

Brooms Of Broom Corn

Valued At More Than 96 Cents

The United States imported 707,374 brooms of broom corn valued at more than 96 cents per broom during May 2012, down 14 percent from 819,033 for May 2011. During the first five months of 2012, 3.2 million brooms of broom corn were imported, down 11 percent from 3.6 million for the first five months of 2011.

 

Mexico shipped 3.1 million brooms to the United States during the first five months of 2012, while Honduras sent the remainder.

 

The average price per broom for May 2012 was $2.44, up 2 percent from the average price for May 2011 of $2.39. The average price per broom for the first five months of 2012 was $2.45, up 1 cent from the first five months of 2011.

 

Brooms & Brushes Of Vegetable Material

The import total of brooms and brushes of vegetable material during May 2012 was 163,445, up 67 percent from 98,096 brooms and brushes imported during May 2011. During the first five months of 2012, 664,093 brooms and brushes were imported, up 4 percent from 639,790 imported during the first five months of 2011.

 

Sri Lanka exported 372,520 brooms and brushes to the United States during the first five months of 2012, while China sent 118,455.

 

The average price per unit for May 2012 was $1.28, up 8 percent from $1.18 for May 2011. The average price for the first five months of 2012 was $1.25, an increase of 4 percent from the average price recorded for the first five months of 2011 of $1.20.

 

Toothbrushes

The United States imported 83.1 million toothbrushes in May 2012, up slightly from 83 million imported in May 2011. During the first five months of 2012, 464.9 million toothbrushes were imported, an increase of 25 percent from 371.5 million imported during the first five months of 2011.

 

China sent 353.4 million toothbrushes to the United States during the first five months of 2012. Also shipping toothbrushes to the United States were Switzerland at 33.7 million and Vietnam at 29.6 million.

 



(Continued on Top Right Column)



 

The average price per toothbrush for May 2012 was 22 cents, up 10 percent from the average price for May 2011 of 20 cents. The average price for the first five months of 2012 was 19 cents, down 14 percent from 22 cents for the first five months of 2011.

 

Shaving Brushes

The United States imported 8.9 million shaving brushes in May 2012, down 4 percent from 9.3 million imported in May 2011. During the first five months of 2012, 30.2 million shaving brushes were imported, down 33 percent from 45.4 million imported during the first five months of 2011.

 

China sent 19.2 million shaving brushes to the United States during the first five months of 2012, while Mexico sent 5.5 million.

 

The average price per shaving brush for May 2012 was 9 cents, down 1 cent from the average price for May 2011. The average price for the first five months of 2012 was 12 cents, the same as the average price for the first five months of 2011.

 

Paintbrushes

U.S. companies imported 23.7 million paintbrushes during May 2012, up 11 percent from 21.3 million paintbrushes imported during May 2011. Paintbrush imports for the first five months of 2012 were 91.3 million, down slightly from 92.5 million recorded for the first five months of 2011.

 

China shipped 75.2 million paintbrushes to the United States during the first five months of 2012, while Indonesia shipped 14.7 million.

 

The average price per paintbrush for May 2012 was 28 cents, down 1 cent from the average price for May 2011. The average price for the first five months of 2012 was 30 cents, down 1 cent from the average price for the first five months of 2011.

 

EXPORTS

 

Export totals for the first five months of 2012 were up in three of the five categories outlined, compared to the first five months of 2011. In May 2012, three of the five categories outlined reported decreases in exports, compared to May 2011.

 

Brooms & Brushes Of Vegetable Materials

The United States exported 7,661 dozen brooms and brushes of vegetable materials during May 2012, down 6 percent from the May 2011 total of 8,123 dozen. Exports of brooms and brushes of vegetable materials during the first five months of 2012 were 66,037 dozen, up 76 percent from 37,616 dozen for the first five months of 2011.

 

The United States sent 31,441 dozen brooms and brushes to Brazil during the first five months of 2012 and 15,650 dozen to Canada.

 

The average price per dozen brooms and brushes was $37.79 in May 2012, up slightly from $37.26 for May 2011. The average price per dozen brooms and brushes for the first five months of 2012 was $35.76, a decrease of 35 percent from the average price per dozen for the first five months of 2011 of $55.44.

 

Toothbrushes

During May 2012, the United States exported 12.5 million toothbrushes, up 67 percent from the total recorded in May 2011 of 7.5 million. During the first five months of 2012, 56.9 million toothbrushes were exported, up 38 percent from 41.2 million exported during the first five months of 2011.

 

The United States exported 25 million toothbrushes to Canada during the first five months of 2012, while sending 7.8 million toothbrushes to Mexico.

 

The average price per toothbrush for May 2012 was 58 cents, down 17 percent from the average price for May 2011 of 70 cents. The average price per toothbrush for the first five months of 2012 was 54 cents, down 8 percent from 59 cents for the first five months of 2011.

 

Shaving Brushes

The United States exported 2.9 million shaving brushes during May 2012, up 164 percent from 1.1 million for May 2011. During the first five months of 2012, 14.6 million shaving brushes were exported, up 54 percent from 9.5 million during the first five months of 2011.

 

Mexico imported 10.4 million shaving brushes from the United States during the first five months of 2012, while Canada received 1.1 million.

 

The average price per shaving brush for May 2012 was 47 cents, down 53 percent from $1.01 for May 2011. The average price for the first five months of 2012 was 48 cents, down 21 percent from 61 cents recorded for the first five months of 2011.

 

Artist Brushes

The United States exported 898,764 artist brushes during May 2012, down 18 percent from 1.1 million artist brushes exported for May 2011. During the first five months of 2012, 4 million artist brushes were exported, down 11 percent from 4.5 million the first five months of 2011.

 

Canada imported 2.3 million artist brushes from the United States during the first five months of 2012, while The United Kingdom imported 526,878.

 

The average price per artist brush for May 2012 was $2.35, up 2 percent from $2.31 for May 2011. The average price for the first five months of 2012 was $2.85, up 5 percent from $2.72 recorded for the first five months of 2011.

 

Paintbrushes

The export total of paintbrushes during May 2012 was 157,135, down 37 percent from 248,453 paintbrush exports recorded for May 2011. During the first five months of 2012, 848,643 paintbrushes were exported, down 13 percent from 971,803 during the first five months of 2011.

 

Canada imported 511,490 paintbrushes from the United States during the first five months of 2012, while The Netherlands received 85,941.

 

The average price per paintbrush for May 2012 was $13.26, up 52 percent from $8.71 for May 2011. The average price for the first five months of 2012 was $12.10, up 23 percent from $9.84 recorded for the first five months of 2011.

 

Click here for entire May Export/Import Statistics

 

 

deal

 

U.S. Imports 54 Short Tons
Of Broom Corn In June

 

By Harrell Kerkhoff, Broom, Brush & Mop Editor

 

A total of 54 short tons of broom corn was imported into the United States during June 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. All broom corn imports arrived from Mexico.

 

Total value of the 54 short tons imported during June was $213,710, with an average cost per ton of $3,958 ($1.98 per pound).

 

For the first half of 2012, government figures show 286 short tons of broom corn were imported into the United States. All of these imports came from Mexico. Total value was $819,662, with a cost per ton average of $2,866 ($1.43 per pound). In comparison, after the first six months of 2011, a total of 326 short tons of broom corn entered the United States. Total value of this import was $680,381, with a cost per ton average of $2,087 ($1.04 per pound).

 

Bart Pelton, of PelRay International, LLC, in San Antonio, TX, felt June’s broom corn import figures were accurate, both in terms of the amount of short tons imported as well as the cost.

 

Bart Pelton

Bart Pelton

 

“The average price ($1.98 per pound) is about right for a mix of hurl and insides,” Pelton said. “There appear to be some people who purchased broom corn ahead of the first Torreon harvest (in Mexico) this year. They probably realized that the new crop was going to be small.”

 

When interviewed on August 9, Pelton added that newly harvested Torreon broom corn is being delivered to Cadereyta, Mexico, for processing.

 

“There is (competition) among the buyers to get what little broom corn is available in Mexico. Prices are moving up as a result,” he said.

 

Pelton noted that there was also a small first crop harvested from Torreon last year, but the broom corn industry was able to benefit from a fair amount of carry-over material that was available. However, the amount of carry-over broom corn available this summer is much lower, and most of it is insides rather than the more desired hurl.

 

On a more positive note, no major quality concerns have been reported with this year’s first crop from Torreon, Pelton said. The same, however, can’t be said with broom corn harvested in 2012 from Mexico’s Sinaloa area.

 

“There was a lot of rain during the harvest in Sinaloa and farmers lost a good chunk of that crop. A fair amount of what broom corn was saved has been stained by the rain and is basically at No. 3 quality. This quality level is much poorer than usual,” Pelton said. “The Sinaloa broom corn is being used, however, since there is such a tight supply. Most of this crop is contracted by one of the larger broom factories in Cadereyta, and typically not very much of it gets exported to the United States.”

 

According to Pelton, Mexican broom corn prices are high enough to encourage a second planting in the Torreon region.
Of course, prices for other crops grown in the area are also high.

 

“The other issue with the second crop is a continuous drought taking place in the area. There is not very much water left in the region’s reservoirs for irrigation. Therefore, a strong second planting may depend on timely rains to help supplement what little irrigation water is available.

 

“It’s not looking good right now. We are pretty much at record price levels for broom corn, and I think prices will stay high until next year — and they could go higher. Some broom factories in Mexico may shut down for lack of broom corn,” Pelton said.

 

There is somewhat better news to report concerning yucca fiber. Pelton said this market continues to remain remarkably stable.

 

 


(Continued on Top Right Column)

“High broom corn prices will often prompt people to use more yucca fiber, thus increasing its demand and prices. However, I really don’t see that happening right now. Chances are overall demand for brooms will drop as their prices go up. Also, many broom manufacturers are currently using about as much yucca fiber as they can and still have their products look like corn brooms,” Pelton said.

 

He added that drought conditions can also influence yucca fiber production, but the dry weather’s impact does not come as fast compared to broom corn. This is because yucca fiber, which is harvested from bear grass, grows wild in the arid areas of northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. When the yucca fiber is harvested, the plant is trimmed with approximately six inches left so it can grow back. Therefore, in about two to three years, the plant is harvested again.

 

“How fast the plant grows of course depends on how much rain it receives. When several years of drought take place, those who harvest the yucca fiber must travel greater distances to reach plants that are ready for harvesting,” Pelton said. “It’s important to keep in mind that yucca fiber usually grows in areas that are fairly dry most of the time. Droughts are normal.”

 

Despite ongoing challenges with the supply and price of broom corn, Pelton reported that business has been fairly steady at his company when it comes to selling materials for mop and broom production.

 

Richard Caddy, of R.E. Caddy & Co., Inc., in Greensboro, NC, also felt that June’s broom corn import numbers accurately reflected what was truly taking place within the industry during the sixth month of 2012.

 

“We were starting to see price increases take place in June, which is reflected in these import figures. The tonnage (of 54 short tons) also seems correct,” Caddy said.

 

He noted that imported broom corn for June was all carry-over material that was grown in 2011.

 

“The quality of this carry-over broom corn was still good,” Caddy said, when interviewed on August 10. “New broom corn from Torreon is now available. We are receiving this broom corn (at R.E. Caddy) at it’s very expensive. Prices are up around 25 percent from what we were paying in May, and probably up 15 percent from what we paid in June.

 

“As far as I can tell right now, we will have to pay these kind of prices for awhile unless there is either a decrease in demand or more supply becomes available. Many of my customers have been able to market their brooms to reflect the current higher prices.”

 

Caddy hopes higher Mexican prices will move Torreon farmers to plant additional broom corn this year for the area’s traditional second crop.

 

Although Caddy said he has been able to get enough supply of newly processed broom corn for his commercial customers, there have been shortages of raw broom corn. This latter issue concerns Caddy’s craft broom customers.

 

Richard Caddy

Richard Caddy

 

“(Raw corn) is finally starting to come in again, but there was a real shortage for awhile,” he explained.

 

Despite current crop shortages and high prices, Caddy added that Mexico remains the only real broom corn source right now for U.S. dealers and broom makers. This, of course, hasn’t always been the case.

 

“We used to get broom corn imports from Eastern Europe. The quality of this material was not as good compared to Mexican broom corn, but it was good enough to use and typically was priced 15 percent or so lower. We could justify bringing the broom corn to the United States as customers would use it to make cheaper brooms or to put inside (broom heads),” Caddy said.

 

He noted that issues with currency exchanges and supply matters have made it unfeasible right now to import European broom corn. There have been various problems as well associated with importing broom corn grown in Ethiopia and China.

 

Regarding the supply of yucca fiber, Caddy said that pricing for this material did escalate several months ago, but has since remained steady.

 

“Availability of yucca fiber — at three to four weeks — is also not too bad right now,” he added, “and the quality is holding up.”

 

Tim Monahan, of The Thomas Monahan Co., in Arcola, IL, was unavailable for comment for this month’s broom corn dealer survey.

 

 

 


 


Broom Corn Imports



Zahoransky Announces Revised Version Z.IDP During InterBrush

 

After the launch of the IDP carousel solution (integrated dental production) at the last K-Exhibition in Düsseldorf, Germany, ZAHORANSKY AG presented the revised version Z.IDP at InterBrush 2012, in Freiburg, Germany.

 

The Z.IDP allows for unattended, fully automatic production of interdental brushes - from granulate to the finished - and optionally packaged - care products for the spaces between the teeth. Company officials say with the “no human touch” concept, a maximum in hygiene is achieved.

 

Zahoransky's revised Z.IDP.

 

Featuring inmould technology, the complete dispensing of the use of glue or hot-joining technologies guarantees a “clinically” clean end-product without any odor or taste residues on the brush or the handle, according to the company.

 

The finished brush is conveyed by air from the fully automatic Z.SAILFIN twisting machine into the Z.IDP carousel for further processing.

 

In the Z.IDP carousel, the wire ends of the brushes are bent and then transferred to the mould bars. The bars are then optically checked for 100 percent loading, and the brush handles are over-moulded with one or two components according to requirements. In the concluding output station, the finished interdental brushes are oriented on an output belt or, alternatively, transferred to a handling system. Downstream processing stages — such as the mounting of a cap, buffering in a tray system or packaging — can be realized via the handling system.

 

Zahoransky says the Z.IDP system is available in 8-cavity, 12-cavity or 16-cavity versions. Advantages include: technical availability greater than 95 percent; no human touch for highest requirements on hygiene; no machine operator required; unlimited design freedom for handle design through the use of over-moulding technology; one or two component handle design; net production output of 60 brushes per minute (8-cavity mould) or 120 brushes per minute (16-cavity mould); quality control via camera inspection system (brush quality and 100 percent loading); smallest bending radius at brush head (fulfills international test criteria); filament and wire spools allowing for lengthy material buffer; oriented end-product output; and, low space requirement with highest productivity.

 

Visit www.zahoransky-group.com for more information.

 




Annual National Broom & Mop Meeting Scheduled For November In St. Louis


Broom & Mop Meeting co-chairmen Joel Hastings of Nexstep Commercial Products (left)
and Andrew Dailey of Jones Companies.


The 2012 National Broom & Mop Meeting is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, November 15-16, in St. Louis. Industry manufacturers and suppliers representing different broom, mop and related markets will meet at the Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel, located at 9801 Natural Bridge Road, in St. Louis, MO.

The annual event serves as a forum for attendees to discuss current business trends in the rapidly changing floorcare and related segments.

On Thursday evening (November 15) attendees are invited to a welcome reception hour followed by a dinner. The meeting is scheduled for Friday (November 16) morning and is targeted to conclude around noon. More details about the meeting will be released in the near future.

For more information, contact meeting co-chair Joel Hastings, Nexstep Commercial Products, at 800-252-7666, email joel@ocedarcommercial.com; or co-chair Andrew Dailey, Jones Companies, at 877-849-2767, email adailey@jonesyarn.com.

Hotel reservations can be made by calling 1-800-468-3571 or visiting this link.

Attendees should reference the National Broom & Mop Meeting or use the code “nbmnbma” to receive a special hotel rate.




2012 Olympic Medalist Dawn Harper Uses Gordon Brush FootMate™ System

 

Gordon Brush spokespeople say that company-sponsored Olympian Dawn Harper used The FootMate™ System to help catapult herself to a silver medal in the 100-meter hurdles during the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England, on August 7. Harper's win marks the first major victory for the FootMate System by an Olympic athlete.

Gordon Brush says it “jumped at the chance” to sponsor Harper for this year's event in London when they learned that Harper credits regular use of the FootMate System for improving her track performance. Harper narrowly missed gold by two one-hundredths of a second. Her time of 12.37 seconds was a personal best.

 

Gordon Brush's FootMate™ System.


"The FootMate people stood behind me and really helped me out," Harper said in a post-race interview.
"As an athlete, my feet take a constant beating. This causes foot issues that have affected my preparation and training. Using the FootMate System allows me to take care of my feet so that these problems do not occur. In between and immediately after heats, I use the FootMate System to relax my feet so that my feet and legs do not cramp. After my day of racing, I use it in the shower to clean and massage my feet."

Harper added, "Proper foot health is important for an athlete as foot fungus, dry and cracked skin, and odors can affect performance. The FootMate System has helped solve these issues for me and was instrumental in my winning the silver medal."
“Gordon Brush is honored that the FootMate System is a major part of Dawn's preparation and significantly contributed to her racing success. We congratulate her in winning the Silver Medal in the 100M hurdles at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. What an inspiring opportunity for Gordon Brush to support an American athlete," Gordon Brush President and CEO Ken Rakusin said.

The FootMate sticks to the shower floor with suction cups and a long retrieval cord eliminates stooping after use. It comes with 8 ounces of foaming Rejuvenating Gel™ made with tea tree oil (a natural antiseptic), healing aloe, skin cleansers and conditioners. The company says it may also benefit people with diabetes, arthritis, back pain and pregnant women.
Contact Laura Jelinowicz, product manager, at laura@gordonbrush.com, call 323-724-7777 ext. 290, or visit www.footmate.com.

 

Visit www.gordonbrush.com for more information.

 



PFERD Introduces POLIFAN®-STRONG-FREEZE
For Fast Stock Removal On Stainless

 

Designed to save work time associated with grinding tasks, PFERD says the latest addition to its SGP Special High-Performance Line of POLIFAN® Flap Discs is the SGP CO-STRONG-FREEZE.

 

Following the patented extended flap length design of the original POLIFAN®-STRONG line for steel grinding technology, the new POLIFAN®-STRONG-FREEZE also features a ceramic grit. Company officials say it offers ultra-cool grinding with maximum stock removal rate on stainless steel (INOX) and other materials with poor thermal properties, while still maintaining an outstanding service life.

 

It is suitable for surface grinding work on weld seams, and is available in 4-1/2-, 5- and 7-inch diameters, and in grit sizes 36 and 50 — all offering maximum productivity due to fewer tool changes and set-up time, according to the company.



PFERD says the POLIFAN®-STRONG-FREEZE offers ultra-cool grinding with maximum stock removal rate.

 

 

For more information e-mail: solutions@pferdusa.com, call 1-800-342-9015

or visit www.pferdusa.comand click on “new products.”

 




Hours Announced For 2013

International Home & Housewares Show

 

The International Housewares Association (IHA) Show held in Chicago, IL, has announced that the 2013 Housewares Show will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 2, and close at 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 5.

 

The International Home & Housewares Show is held annually at McCormick Place in Chicago.

 

 

“The decision to adjust the hours slightly was made after a full review of all the buyer scan data, and listening to our customer segments through surveys, exhibitor and retailer advisory groups and one-to-one conversations,” said Phil Brandl, president of IHA. “Lengthening the 2012 Show to a four-day pattern was extremely well received by our retail customers. Survey data shows the average length of stay for a buyer increased by almost one-half day.”

 

“We felt the extra day was a win-win for us,” said Bruce Kaminstein, CEO of Casabella Holdings LLC. “We were very busy on Saturday afternoon and did not feel we had a drop-off on Tuesday afternoon. Additionally, the buyers were not as rushed during their visits.”

 

Houseware 2

The 2013 Home & Housewares Show is expected to feature over 2,100 exhibitors.

 

 

Many exhibitors were happy with the additional day and revised hours in 2012, and the slightly earlier close in 2013 will allow smaller exhibiting companies to dismantle their booths and leave town Tuesday night, saving the additional night stay-over, Brandl said.

 

The 2013 International Home & Housewares Show is expected to feature more than 2,100 exhibitors from around the globe and attendees from over 100 countries.

 

Visit www.housewares.org for more information.