Tomatoes and Drugs in Brazil

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2 years 2 months
Submitted by Chris Humberstone on Tue, 06/10/2014 - 01:44

As usual a visit to Brazil filled me with energy and optimism. It is a wonderful country with wonderful people who are so welcoming and hospitable that one feels special, although they treat everybody that way.
The FCE was a great show, if a little slow on the first day and as the stands were badly laid out, some exhibitors were stuck in areas that few clients ventured into. However Ashland, Dinaco and others with a good spot and good relationships were filled to breaking point.
I have written before about how expensive Brazil is right now, so I won't harp on, but allow me to complain that the Sao Paulo Hilton charges $30 for breakfast, and I have never stayed in a hotel before in Brazil where the breakfast was not included in the daily rate. The Economist April 20th 2013 talks about the jokes in Brazil about the price of tomatoes and how they are being smuggled in with drugs from Paraguay. Inflation is picking up and it is a real concern. The currency remains high so exports are difficult and once again the local market turns inwards to the local market for sustenance.
The personal care industry in Brazil seems to have a split personality. Some cosmetic ingredient suppliers are waxing lyrical about fantastic growth over the last few years while others are bemoaning the end of Avon as an important customer and increasing price competition in the commodity/semi-commodity areas.
Local production for both consumer products and ingredient manufacturers is clearly gaining more and more importance as consumers increasingly believe in the quality of Brazilian products and manufacturers want to buy locally produced products. So while imports can be competitive, the equation is a little more complicated.
I ate plenty of salad in Brazil, but no tomatoes and no drugs, and I still felt special!

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