Brazil is still the largest economy in Latin America. In fact, Brazil ranks ninth in the world in term of Gross Domestic Product output. Several positive issues are developing that will help Brazil increase their GDP output in 2017. The first positive issue is President Michel Temer’s trade agreement negotiations. Temer has put a deal in place with China, Argentina, and the United States. There are more trade deals on the table, and they could materialize in 2017, according to Flavio Maluf. Flavio Maluf is the CEO, and Chairman of Eucatex, the giant Brazilian building material supplier. Eucatex is one of Brazil’s top exporters. The Sao Paulo-based company ships millions of dollars’ worth of building supplies to countries around the world.
Eucatex wasn’t always a major exporter or a big supplier of building materials. The family-owned company started as a ceiling tile manufacturer in the 1950s. The ceiling tiles produced by Eucatex weren’t ordinary ceiling tiles. The tiles were made out of eucalyptus wood. Brazil is known for its rich supply of Eucalyptus trees. The ceiling tiles were just what the construction business needed more than 60 years ago, so the Maluf family decided to expand the Eucatex sales force. Flavio Maluf’s grandfather was in charge of Eucatex in those days. Flavio didn’t join the company until 1987. He spent time in New York attending NYU before he returned to Brazil and became part of the Eucatex team.
It took Flavio Maluf ten years, but he was appointed the president of the company in 1997. That’s when Eucatex changed their business model. Instead of being a polluter, Flavio made the choice to protect the natural resources that are a vital part of Brazil’s economy. Flavio established an Eco-friendly manufacturing system that used renewable energy instead of fossil fuel to produce company products. Flavio also decided to purchase a track of land filled with eucalyptus trees, so Eucatex could replace the trees the company used for floorboards and ceiling tiles.
Today, Eucatex is a model for other manufacturing companies in Brazil. Maluf is asked to speak about environmental issues to groups around the country.