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Temmentec AG

Cosmetics from Emmental feature in world’s top labels

Temmentec AG has its roots in the town of Sumiswald in the rolling Emmental hills, where chemist Paul Müller set up his cosmetics manufacturing business back in 1916. Today the company is part of Tortec Holding AG. In its state-of-the-art labs and production facilities it develops and manufactures high-end cosmetics that form the essence of many world-famous cosmetics lines, as we discover in our interview with CEO Peter Schweikert.

Before a product such as a face cream reaches the retail counter, Temmentec goes through the formulation with the customer, works out every last detail of the manufacturing and quality process, and, if required, will even develop the product design and packaging. “We work closely with our customers all the way from the idea to the fragrant, retail-ready, attractively packaged cosmetic product,” Peter Schweikert says.


Mr. Schweikert, the foundations of Temmentec AG in Sumiswald were laid by the chemist Paul Müller. What would impress him the most if he were to see the company as it is today?

First of all, can I just say how impressed I am by Paul Müller, who had the courage to travel to New York in the 1920s with a couple of colleagues to find new products to make in Switzerland. And he did just that: he came back with products which he went on to produce under license in Sumiswald, including worldfamous brands such as Listerine mouthwash and Cutex nail polish remover. Now, a century on, he would be impressed that we manufacture products for so many well-known international cosmetics labels.

Temmentec is a contract manufacturer. What does that entail?

All our customers are companies that have an idea but no manufacturing department of their own. As a full service partner, we work with our customers right the way through the value chain from the idea to the finished product. We also advise them on finding the appropriate container for filling or the right packaging solution. But first and foremost we specialize in formulations.

What is the secret to a successful formulation?

That’s in the hands of our in-house scientific committee, on which my brother Dr. Kuno Schweikert sits. Kuno is a biochemist and head of development. This committee evaluates and tests the latest findings in dermatology and new ingredients and keeps its finger on the pulse of current trends. All this goes into the mix when we formulate a product; it’s a highly creative process.

Can you talk us through this creative process?

All our products must be compatible with the human organism. On our skin we have millions of bacteria – beneficial, harmful, and neutral ones. Our job is to control the balance between these bacteria, for example to eliminate redness or to achieve better protection. To do this, besides studying dermatological and microbiotic findings, we are constantly on the lookout for new techniques, active ingredients, and treatment methods. We combine all these factors in our products and check the efficacy of the new combination of ingredients. This is the creative process that inspires our innovations.

Do you have to meet particular authorization requirements?

No, because we are subject to the Food Act. However, as a manufacturer we are responsible for ensuring that we don’t use prohibited ingredients such as allergens or carcinogens. We also have our own internal blacklist of problematic ingredients. We don’t accept any formulations that contain such substances.

What makes you a Hidden Champion?

Well, we’re tucked away in Emmental ... (Peter Schweikert chuckles). Our products can be found at every airport and in all four corners of the world, but always bearing the label of the cosmetics line we produce them for. Another reason why we are less visible is that our market is so small. But all cosmetics manufacturers know each other very well. And maybe we’re a Hidden Champion because as a traditional Swiss company we have built up a reputation as a quality contract manufacturer.


History made with lighting, gluing and sealing

In 1918 Walter Merz and Albert Benteli founded the company of the same name while still studying chemistry; their intention was to produce high-quality adhesives and luminescent materials used in the watch industry. For many decades, the fully synthetic and waterproof adhesive Cementit was part of everyday life in most Swiss households. Today, merz + benteli develops, produces and markets cutting-edge elastic adhesives and sealants of the highest quality.

Locally based, internationally successful

More than 100 employees work for merz + benteli at its site in Niederwangen near Bern. As a niche player in a globally competitive B2B market, the family-owned company focuses on providing solutions for demanding customer requirements. With selected market partners in Germany and abroad, merz + benteli generates annual sales of around 50 million Swiss francs (20% in Switzerland, 80% in exports). With the brands Gomastit for construction applications, Merbenit for industrial applications, and Merbenature made from over 50% renewable raw materials, merz + benteli ag positions itself as a stand-alone and independent specialist for innovative market services in the areas of sealing, gluing and protecting.

Research secures the future

“Sense today what is needed tomorrow, develop today what must stand the test of time: Quality is our priority. We invest and conduct research to achieve this,” explains the head of Research + Development, Fritz Burkhardt. Studies predict that the sealing and bonding industry has a promising future, because bonding has advantages over conventional, mechanical joining techniques – especially when using weight-reducing plastics and composites.

Commitment to the location of Switzerland

“There are many reasons for merz + benteli’s success. One is ‘Swissness’: Exclusive development and production in Switzerland guarantees consistent product characteristics, constant innovation and strict adherence to environmental standards. We want to write another 100 years of successful Swiss economic history with sealing and gluing,” says Dr. Georges Bindschedler, Delegate of the Advisory Board.


How does being based in Sumiswald benefit you?

Our roots are in Sumiswald and we are committed to continuing Paul Müller’s legacy here. Together with our predecessors, we have invested more than CHF 20 million here, in modern manufacturing facilities and, as a major energy consumer, in sustainability as well. Emmental may not be ideal in terms of logistics, but we have been able to find a loyal and reliable workforce here. Some of our pensioners worked with us their entire working lives, for example.

Magazine berncapitalarea – Edition 1 / 2020 (PDF, 4 MB, 24 pages)

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