Brazil is one of the richest countries in the world when it comes to natural resources. Brazil is a treasure chest filled with precious stones, oil, crops and a population that would rather smile than frown. The middle class in Brazil is a new phenomenon in the largest country in Latin America. For years, the country’s population was made up of the wealthy elite and the poverty-stricken poor. But that started to change in the 1990s. Brazil’s economy started to grow in the 1990s, thanks to a healthy export business with countries like China, the United Sates, and Germany. One of the companies that helped the economy continue to grow during those years was the Sao Paulo-based building material supplier, Eucatex. Eucatex was founded in 1951 by the Maluf family. For more than 60 years, Eucatex has been a permanent fixture in Brazil’s export business.
Eucatex is a true success story. In 1954, Eucatex had one small factory in the state of Sao Paulo. Today, Eucatex has four very large factories. Those factories produce paint, varnish, floorboards, doors, and the company’s signature product, eucalyptus wood ceiling tiles.
The Eucalyptus tree has played an important role in the growth of Eucatex. The Maluf family sawmill, Americana Sawmill Americana, started cutting eucalyptus trees in the 1920s. Flavio Maluf, the current CEO, and President of Eucatex made sure his company honored Eucalyptus trees. Eucatex leases thousands of acres so the company can replace the trees it uses to make products. The Eucatex product line was focused on Eucalyptus trees for years. But in the 1990s, the company expanded its product line and its factory base.
Flavio Maluf is a sought after environmentalist and businessman. The environmental education program that Flavio started in 2001 is a huge success. Thousands of people come to the company’s visiting center every year to learn about forestry, recycling, and natural fuel sources. Maluf has a deep respect for the Brazilian ecosystem. The Eucatex “House of Nature” environmental education program gives visitors a chance to be surrounded by nature, and they learn to connect with it.