Biesterfeld and Holiferm enter into distribution agreement on biosurfactants for the personal care and cleaning segments

With immediate effect, Biesterfeld Spezialchemie will begin distributing biosurfactants from UK specialist manufacturer Holiferm for the cleaning sector and soon for the personal care market. The exclusive distribution agreement for this novel range of eco-friendly surfactants applies to the DACH region.

The 100% biobased and biodegradable sophorolipid surfactants are produced from European renewable feedstocks via a natural fermentation process, using yeast naturally found in honey. Applications are very diverse and include home care uses such as hard surface cleaners and liquid dishwashing detergents as well as personal care formulations like face creams and shampoos. In addition to its unique environmentally friendly profile, the product range is COSMOS-approved and offers various application benefits including its ultra-mildness to skin. Thanks to Holiferm’s patented high-productivity fermentation process, these biosurfactants will for the first time be offered to the mass market within the highly competitive and still strongly petrochemical-dependent surfactant industry.

“With today’s increasing consumer environmental awareness and the resulting changes in buying behaviours, the personal care and home care industries are accelerating the transition towards more sustainable solutions,” explains Julien Fischer, Product Manager Personal Care & Cleaning, Biesterfeld Spezialchemie. “We are very excited to add Holiferm’s biotech surfactants to our portfolio of sustainable ingredients and look forward to introducing this promising product technology to our customers.”

"We have worked very hard to perfect the fermentation process to produce both sustainable and effective raw materials that give customers a competitive advantage. Currently available at pilot plant scale, these biosurfactants are on track to be manufactured in what eventually will be the EU’s largest manufacturing plant for sophorolipids,” adds Richard Lock, Managing Director at Holiferm. “Biesterfeld have an excellent reputation and market presence and are technical experts with application-focused know-how. That makes them the ideal distribution partner for us and we look forward to a successful partnership."

About Holiferm

Holiferm is based in the north-west of England with sites in Manchester, Daresbury and Wallasey. It was founded on the back of patented gravity separation technology developed at the University of Manchester. As a company we aim to disrupt the market and replace all petrochemical-produced surfactants with our naturally produced biosurfactants. We use yeast derived from honey to produce our biosurfactants using a continuous cycle method, which makes them not only more economically viable, but more environmentally friendly too. Our biosurfactants have applications in many products found around the home including cosmetics, skin care, shower gels and hand cleansers.

Photo credits: Holiferm

The Holiferm pilot plant started operations in April 2021 with a capacity of 25 tons per year. A first commercial plant is currently being set up to meet the expected high demand. Biesterfeld is to distribute the sustainable biosurfactants in the DACH region. 

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