The mission had meetings with two major French retailers; pictured is a meeting with Daniel Herf, international director of ceramic tile products of Adeo Group.

Anfacer, the Association of the Brazilian Ceramic Tile Manufacturers, conducted a commercial mission to France and the United Kingdom, from November 5-19. The mission was organized with the support of Apex Brasil, the Brazilian Export Promoter, the French Chamber of Commerce and the Tile Association of England. The group visited Batimat Paris, the world’s largest fair of building materials, and presented lectures on topics such as, “The Building Sector in Brazil” and “The Use of Brazilian Ceramic Tile in Architecture,” presented by Miguel Fabregues. The following Brazilian companies participated in this mission: Ceusa, Buschinelli, Inti, Batistella, Giseli, Pamesa, Antigua, Lepri, Incefra and Gyotoku. Anfacer’s staff included Lauro Andrade Filho and Alais Coluchi.

Mission to France

France has become the second most important market for Brazilian ceramic tiles, with more than 114 million square meters sold in 2006. Two chains were visited by the Brazilian group: Saint Gobain and Adeo (which includes Leroy Merlin). These chains represent about 30 percent of the total imports of France. Saint-Gobain has 1,600 stores and 700 ceramic tile lines. The Brazilian manufacturers participated at the Fórum in Point P, an important concept store from Saint Gobain. Adeo Group already works with two Brazilian ceramic tile companies, and will send its executives to look for new suppliers at Revestir, which will be held March 2008 in São Paulo, Brazil.

The group visited the CSTB, one of the most important research centers of building materials of Europe.

Looking for Certification

Ceramic tiles of Brazil will recognize the international standards of their products in order to add value and be accepted in the international market. That was the reason for the visit to CSTB, a French organization with labs for certification of building products, in order to learn the standards related to ceramic tiles. CSTB ( certifies products imported according to French standards, which must be followed by any company that wants to be in this important market.

Some of the most important retail chains of ceramic tiles in U.K. were visited in the mission; pictured is the visit to World End Tiles.

Mission to United Kingdom

Another very important market that looks for high-end products, the United Kingdom, was also included on the mission agenda. Retail chains such as World End Tiles, Material Lab, Reed Harris and Topps Tiles were visited by the group. There was also a meeting with Lesley Reid, the CEO of the Tile Association, the most important ceramic organization in the U.K., which represents manufacturers, distributors and installers of ceramic tiles, as well as producers of grouts and mortars.