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Haviland Corporation Celebrating 65th Anniversary



Jan Haviland
President/CEO

By Rick Mullen, Broom Brush & Mop Associate Editor


For 65 years, Haviland Corporation, of Linn, MO, has never wavered from its original commitment to manufacture the best in high quality floor squeegees. Today, in addition to floor squeegees, Haviland’s product lineup has expanded to include window squeegees, woodblock squeegees, waterbrooms, stainless steel squeegees and scrapers, extension handles, splashguards, gaskets, replacement cartridges and replacement blades for floor machines and wet-dry vacuums.


“This year is our 65th anniversary,” said Haviland President Jan Haviland, during a recent interview with Broom, Brush & Mop. “We started out manufacturing quality squeegees, and this remains the primary thrust of the business. We like to point out that sometimes the consumer is going to pay a little more for a quality piece.


However, because we offer replaceable blades for our squeegees, the consumer can buy one squeegee and perhaps three additional blades, which may be all he or she needs in a year. With cheaper squeegees, the consumer is likely to buy several, and, by the end of the year, will pay 30 or 40 percent more.”


Haviland manufactures several lines of straight and curved floor squeegees designed for a wide variety of applications. Haviland squeegees are used to clean up grease, degreasers, solvents, acid, animal and vegetable oils and more. Some lines are color-coded for customers who are concerned about cross-contamination or need a specific color for branding.


One of the company’s newest squeegee products is the innovative “attract and attack” Microbe Spiker™, comprised of a blue double foam rubber blade infused with an antimicrobial agent.


“With the Microbe Spiker, we are moving from ‘looks clean, smells clean,  it must be clean,’ to ‘looks clean, but is it scientifically clean?’ This was our mindset while developing this new product,” Jan Haviland said.


Infused in the Microbe Spiker’s blade are millions of bacteria inhibiting spikes. As the blade moves over surfaces, the spikes remove microbes from surfaces by physical means, in contrast to using poisons or chemicals. The spikes use a strong positive charge to attract the negatively charged bacteria. When microorganisms come in contact with the squeegee, the spikes puncture the cell membrane; therefore, there is no opportunity for cell adaptation or development of microbial resistance.


“The Microbe Spiker is long-lasting and easy to clean. Just rinse it off and use it again, and its ability to attract microbes lasts throughout the life of the product. It can be used with or without a liquid, water or disinfectant,” Jan Haviland said. “We have also put the antimicrobial foam into floor and hand-held squeegees and into a small sheet that can easily fit in a woman’s purse called the Swipe, to be used to disinfect a person’s hands rather than using a liquid sanitizer. Just rinse it in water and it is ready to use again.”


The new Microbe Spiker is gaining momentum in the marketplace and many customers who have tried it are coming back for more, according to Jan Haviland.

 

New Product Lines Introduced
Following The Move To Linn


Van and Warren - Founders of Haviland

Warren Haviland, Jan Haviland’s father-in-law, founded the business with his wife, Van, in 1946 in St. Louis, after serving in World War II. Warren Haviland had worked with Van’s father, who operated a sanitary supply distributorship in St. Louis.


“Warren had worked with his father-in-law a little while and said he really liked the industry and enjoyed the people, but didn’t want to have a storefront operation,” Jan Haviland said. “Warren and his father-in-law discussed what the industry could use at that point and time and decided upon quality floor squeegees.”


The Haviland Corporation remained in St. Louis until 1974, outgrowing the company’s facility there. The Havilands researched where to relocate and settled on Linn, the county seat of Osage County, MO, about 110 miles west of St. Louis. They were impressed by the work force available in the area and received an attractive offer from Linn’s Industrial Park Committee.

 

Since moving to Linn, Haviland has expanded its offerings to include window squeegees, paving tools and many others.

 

“We expanded our product lines in many areas, including making replacement blades for automatic floor scrubbers, an area that has really done well for us,” Jan Haviland said. “We have also gone into the paving industry with some of our products.

 

“We sell mostly through distribution. Our high quality products are widely used by professionals, but they are also popular among do-it-yourselfers who want a good squeegee to use on their projects.

 

“Our replacement blades for automatic scrubbers and our pavement line have been doing well. We are always out there looking for a niche market that nobody is serving.”

 

While expanding product lines to service various marketplace segments, Haviland Corporation has remained heavily involved in the sanitary supply industry.

 

Haviland family members have held positions as board members or officers for the National Sanitary Supply Association  or the International Sanitary Supply Association. Haviland Chairman of the Board Randy Haviland, Jan Haviland’s husband, served as board president of ISSA in 1994-1995. Randy and Jan Haviland’s daughter, Alice Haviland Andrews, joined the company full time in 2005 and currently serves as director of strategic planning.

 

In the company’s quest to manufacture and develop innovative and high quality products, Haviland Corporation relies heavily on its employees for their on-the-job expertise. The company’s experienced staff has also historically been an important source for new product ideas and manufacturing techniques.


“Our employees have brought to the table many valuable new product ideas, as well as ideas for new applications of existing products,” Andrews said. “We have a highly creative atmosphere at Haviland Corporation. It is common to go to an employee and say, ‘I have an idea, what do you think? Can we put something like this together?’ — and in the next hour, or at least by the end of the day, have a working sample.”

 

Jan Haviland added: “Our people do not lack for creativity in what they do. We have had people who have put together unique squeegee configurations for use at home that have evolved into new products.”


She told of an employee who was building a garage and configured asqueegee that would also remove debris while drying the floor.


“As a result, we developed our Super Dry squeegee line,” Jan Haviland said. “We like to say, ‘Many minds are better than one.’ We have an amazing group of employees here.”


Other unique and innovative products manufactured by Haviland Corporation include:


•The Sizzler and The Sizzler Plus designed to handle extreme temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. These squeegees are used to clean grills. The Sizzler Plus also features a stainless steel scraper;


• Jubilee Floor Squeegee features a replaceable blade. This squeegee is also color-coded;


• Easy Clean Squeegee, also available in colors, is a special duro-extruded squeegee that is easy to use and is chemical resistant, hygienic and dishwasher safe. The blade is pliable enough to apply wallpaper;  


• Mini Boss Roller Squeegee absorbs water, moisture and dew quickly and efficiently. This innovative squeegee is great for outdoor and indoor use on any surface that needs to be kept dry; and


• Big Badger Waterbroom is corrosion resistant and its top-of-the-line insulated pistol-grip valve attaches to any standard garden hose.

 

The company’s paving products include serrated squeegees, neoprene sealer squeegees, tan gum slanted edge squeegees, aluminum lutes, applicator squeegees, multi-purpose squeegees, multi-use squeegee edgers, crackfiller squeegees, pouring pots and hand tampers.


Front Row, left to right: Alice Haviland Andrews, Director of Strategic Planning; Joyce Dudenhoeffer, Marketing Director
Back Row, left to right: Bonnie Brandt, Director of Customer Services; Diane Neuner, Customer Service Representative


When it comes to customer service, Haviland Corporation strives to make it as easy as possible for customers to get their needs met. This involves personalized service and the ability to be flexible in customizing products for specific applications.


(Continued on Top Right Column)

“Haviland squeegees are not just generic products. We specialize to our customers’ needs,” Jan Haviland said. “The process begins when a customer calls and a live person answers the phone. We have always insisted upon the personal touch and people are happy that we can get them to the person they need to speak with right away, rather than going through 14 menus.

 


Randy Wolfe, Senior Manager of Operations, Replacement Parts Division



“We don’t want to make it so complicated that people get frustrated at the basic point of ordering. When customers call, we talk to them and find out exactly what they need. We can pretty much put anything together in any manner or form. If a customer is not happy with the price, we can offer options in the price range that he or she desires. In essence, customers get a chance to customize their squeegees.”

 

Andrews added: “It goes without saying, without customers, we don’t have anything. When we get questions or requests for literature or requests for pricing or anything, we will get the answer back to them the same day, unless it is just not possible. There’s not a lot of waiting or playing the phone tag game.


John Painter, Vice President of Information Systems


“It is not the case that we have, for example, just one kind of squeegee with some black rubber. We find out from the customer what kind of frame is needed. Does the customer need a different socket, etc.

 

“We talk about the application the customer will use the squeegee for — is it going to be with a lot of petroleum or is the customer just moving water? We find out what kind of floor is involved. All these factors will determine what will be the best squeegee to do the job. There is a lot of customization involved.”

 

Also in the area of customer service, Haviland Corporation has historically been committed to quick turnaround times. Timely deliveries are even more important in these times when customers are cutting their inventories as much as possible.

 

“The orders we receive are smaller, which indicates customers are trying to not keep any inventory,” Andrews said. “Turnaround times are shorter now as well. The prevailing atmosphere is, ‘I need this yesterday.’”

 

Jan Haviland and Andrews also emphasized that the company’s products are manufactured in the United States. Competition from imports is a challenge, but Haviland Corporation officials remain steadfast in their commitment to offer products “made in the USA.”

 

“We often see products that are advertised as being made in America that we are very sure are not,” Jan Haviland said. “This misleading advertising waters down the significance of ‘made in the USA’ brands, which has a negative impact on companies like ours that truly are manufacturing in the United States.

 

“I think people are becoming a little more aware about where their items are coming from. More and more people are spending that extra dollar or two to help keep a job in the United States. The more people become aware of this, the better off the whole country will be.”

 

Andrews added: “A very enthusiastic gentleman at one of our latest conventions came up to me and we talked for about an hour about ‘made in the USA.’ I think it is an effective marketing tool.

 

“Another challenge is there are some companies bringing in overseas products and using them as add-ons. For example, a chemical company will import some squeegees to sell. Sometimes customers have the mindset, ‘Well, I can just order my chemicals and squeegees at the same place.’


Kevin Grellner, Floor Squeegee Department


“Squeegees are our bread and butter. It can be a challenge to make a customer understand that the squeegee he or she is getting from the chemical company is unlikely to be the best squeegee to do the job. There are several factors to consider such as the type of flooring the customer has, or maybe the rubber in the squeegee is not a good rubber for the chemical they are purchasing.”

 

Another important aspect of Haviland Corporations’ commitment to serving customers, the industry and the community at large is that of helping safeguard the environment.

 

The opening statement of the company’s “Green Statement,” which can be viewed in its entirety at www.havilandcorp.com , says:“Continuing in the tradition of Haviland Corporation being a good steward of the environment, ning industry and our own cowe are committed to raising the awareness of protecting the environment within the cleammunity.”


Kevin Peters, Replacement Blade Department

 

The statement emphasizes that rubber, one of the primary components of the company’s products, is 100 percent reusable. Metal squeegee frames typically can be used for many years with replaceable blades and the metals the company uses are recyclable. The plastic used in Haviland Corporation’s products is recyclable and the company uses primarily recycled cardboard as shipping material.


Russell Dudenhoeffer, Floor Squeegee Department

Looking Ahead

Despite the volatility of the current economy, Haviland Corporation officials are optimistic about the future of the company.

 

“There are always new ideas and new products on the horizon. A lot of things my father-in-law did in the beginning have proven to be very successful in the long run,” Jan Haviland said. “We are continually building upon this foundation to create innovative products that will carry us into the future.

 

“We owe our success to our employees, past and present. They have given Haviland Corporation a strong reputation in the industry. As for the industry as a whole, there have been a lot of changes as distributorships have shrunk. Some companies that used to be manufacturers are now importing and have become holding companies. This makes it harder to compete against some of the ‘big guys.’ Nonetheless, we feel there will always be people who want quality products that will hold up.”

 

Contact: Haviland Corporation, 200 S. Highway U, P.O. Box 769, Linn, MO 65051. Phone: 800-325-3915; Fax: 573-897-3672.

 

Website: www.havilandcorp.com.

 

E-mail: squeegees@havilandcorp.com.

 


Imports/Exports Up In Nearly All Categories

For First 11 Months Of 2010

import


Including Complete List of November 2010 Exports/Imports Statistics

By Rick Mullen, Broom Brush & Mop Associate Editor

 

U.S. government trade figures for the first 11 months of 2010 indicate raw material imports were up in all four categories outlined in this issue, compared to the first 11 months of 2009. For November 2010, raw material imports were up in three of the four categories outlined, compared to November 2009.


Import totals for the first 11 months of 2010 were up in four of the six finished goods categories outlined from the same time period in 2009. In November 2010, five of the six categories outlined recorded increases, compared to November 2009.


RAW MATERIAL IMPORTS

Hog Bristle

The United States imported 19,575 kilograms of hog bristle in November 2010, down 46 percent from 36,353 kilograms imported in November 2009. During the first 11 months of 2010, 375,385 kilograms of hog bristle were imported, a 21 percent increase from 311,143 kilograms imported during the first 11 months of 2009.


China sent 374,982 kilograms of hog bristle to the United States during the first 11 months of 2010.


The average price per kilogram for November 2010 was $18.02, up 126 percent from the average price per kilogram for November 2009 of $7.98. The average price per kilogram for the first 11 months of 2010 was $8.14, down 1 cent from the average price per kilogram for the first 11 months of 2009.


Broom And Mop Handles

The import total of broom and mop handles during November 2010 was 1.7 million, up 21 percent from 1.4 million during November 2009. During the first 11 months of 2010, 19.5 million broom and mop handles were imported, up 6 percent from 18.4 million for the first 11 months of 2009.


During the first 11 months of 2010, the United States received 8.9 million broom and mop handles from Brazil, 5.4 million from Honduras and 2.8 million from China.


The average price per handle for November 2010 was 74 cents, up 7 percent from 69 cents for November 2009. The average price for the first 11 months of 2010 was 74 cents, up about 9 percent from the average price recorded for the first 11 months of 2009 of 68 cents.


Brush Backs

November 2010 imports of brush backs totaled 286,445, up 107 percent from the November 2009 total of 138,555 brush backs. During the first 11 months of 2010, 6.7 million brush backs were imported, up 168 percent from 2.5 million for the first 11 months of 2009.


Canada shipped 2.8 million brush backs to the United States during the first 11 months of 2010, while China shipped 2.2 million and Brazil sent 1.2 million.


The average price per brush back was 69 cents during November 2010, up 86 percent from the average price for November 2009 of 37 cents. For the first 11 months of 2010, the average price per brush back was 50 cents, up 16 percent from the average price for the first 11 months of 2009 of 43 cents.


Metal Handles

The import total of metal handles during November 2010 was 2.8 million, up 40 percent from 2 million for November 2009. During the first 11 months of 2010, 34.6 million metal handles were imported, up about 28 percent from 27 million for the first 11 months of 2009.


During the first 11 months of 2010, Italy shipped 16.9 million metal handles to the United States, while China sent 12.4 million and Spain exported 4.8 million.


The average price per handle for November 2010 was 58 cents, up 2 cents from the average price for November 2009. The average price for the first 11 months of 2010 was 52 cents, down 16 percent from 62 cents for the first 11 months of 2009.


FINISHED GOODS IMPORTS

Brooms Of Broom Corn

Valued At Less Than 96 Cents

Imports of brooms of broom corn valued at less than 96 cents per broom during November 2010 totaled 8,628, down 45 percent from 15,828 brooms imported during November 2009. During the first 11 months of 2010, 120,372 brooms of broom corn were imported, down 13 percent from 138,396 imported during the first 11 months of 2009.

 

All the brooms were imported from Mexico.

 

The average price per broom in November 2010 was 82 cents, up 12 percent from 73 cents for November 2009. The average price per broom for the first 11 months of 2010 was 82 cents, up  8 percent from 76 cents for the first 11 months of 2009.


Brooms Of Broom Corn

Valued At More Than 96 Cents

The United States imported 597,417 brooms of broom corn valued at more than 96 cents per broom during November 2010, compared to 567,474 in November 2009, an increase of 5 percent. During the first 11 months of 2010, 8.3 million brooms of broom corn were imported, up 6 percent from 7.8 million imported during the first 11 months of 2009.


Mexico shipped 8 million brooms to the United States during the first 11 months of 2010.


The average price per broom for November 2010 was $2.51, up  5 percent from the average price for November 2009 of $2.39. The average price per broom for the first 11 months of 2010 was $2.45, up 1 cent from the average price for the first 11 months of 2009.


Brooms & Brushes Of Vegetable Material

The import total of brooms and brushes of vegetable material during November 2010 was 167,392, up 80 percent from 93,002 brooms and brushes imported during November 2009. During the first 11 months of 2010, 2.5 million brooms and brushes were imported, up 79 percent from 1.4 million imported during the first 11 months of 2009.


Sri Lanka exported 1.7 million brooms and brushes to the United States during the first 11 months of 2010.

 

The average price per unit for November 2010 was $2.01, up 20 percent from $1.67 for November 2009. The average price for the first 11 months of 2010 was $1.52, a decrease of 17 percent from the average price recorded for the first 11 months of 2009 of $1.83.



(Continued on Top Right Column)

Toothbrushes

The United States imported 73.8 million toothbrushes in November 2010, up 27 percent from 58 million imported in November 2009. During the first 11 months of 2010, 839.9 million toothbrushes were imported, an increase of 18 percent from 710.6 million imported during the first 11 months of 2009.


China sent 595.8 million toothbrushes to the United States during the first 11 months of 2010, while Switzerland shipped 93.2 million.


The average price per toothbrush for November 2010 was 25 cents, up 25 percent from the average price for November 2009 of 20 cents. The average price for the first 11 months of 2010 was 22 cents, up 1 cent from the average price for the first 11 months of 2009.


Shaving Brushes

The United States imported 12.8 million shaving brushes in November 2010, up 13 percent from 11.3 million imported in November 2009. During the first 11 months of 2010, 107.7 million shaving brushes were imported, a decrease of 23 percent from 140.4 million imported during the first 11 months of 2009.


China sent 44.2 million shaving brushes to the United States during the first 11 months of 2010, while Mexico sent 35.1 million and Germany shipped 16.5 million.

 

The average price per shaving brush for November 2010 was 10 cents, the same as for November 2009. The average price for the first 11 months of 2010 was 13 cents, the same as for the first 11 months of 2009.

 

Paintbrushes

U.S. companies imported 13.6 million paintbrushes during November 2010, up 3 percent from 13.2 million paintbrushes imported during November 2009. Paintbrush imports for the first 11 months of 2010 were 226.5 million, up 20 percent from 188.7 million recorded for the first 11 months of 2009.


China shipped 190.2 million paintbrushes to the United States during the first 11 months of 2010, while Indonesia exported 32.1 million.


The average price per paintbrush for November 2010 was 33 cents, up 18 percent from 28 cents for November 2009. The average price for the first 11 months of 2010 was 27 cents, down 10 percent from the average price of 30 cents for the first 11 months of 2009.


EXPORTS

Export totals for the first 11 months of 2010 were up in all four categories outlined, compared to the first 11 months of 2009. In November 2010, all four categories also reported increases in exports, compared to November 2009.


Brooms & Brushes Of Vegetable Materials

The United States exported 6,958 dozen brooms and brushes of vegetable materials during November 2010, up 32 percent from the November 2009 total of 5,263 dozen. Exports of brooms and brushes of vegetable materials during the first 11 months of 2010 were 90,907 dozen, up 23 percent from 73,937 dozen for the first 11 months of 2009.


The United States shipped 35,242 dozen brooms and brushes to Canada during the first 11 months of 2010, while Mexico imported 15,418 dozen.  


The average price per dozen brooms and brushes was $36.42 in November 2010, up 2 percent from $35.87 for November 2009. The average price per dozen brooms and brushes for the first 11 months of 2010 was $34.36, a decrease of 14 percent from the average price per dozen for the first 11 months of 2009 of $39.81.


Toothbrushes

During November 2010, the United States exported 10.1 million toothbrushes, up 60 percent from the total recorded in November 2009 of 6.3 million. During the first 11 months of 2010, 104.1 million toothbrushes were exported, up 29 percent from 80.6 million exported during the first 11 months of 2009.

 

The United States exported 34.6 million toothbrushes to Canada during the first 11 months of 2010, while sending 30.8 million toothbrushes to Mexico.


The average price per toothbrush for November 2010 was 57 cents, down 37 percent from the average price for November 2009 of 90 cents. The average price per toothbrush for the first 11 months of 2010 was 66 cents, down 13 percent from 76 cents for the first 11 months of 2009.


Shaving Brushes

The export total of shaving brushes during November 2010 was 2.5 million, up 191 percent from 860,260 recorded for November 2009. During the first 11 months of 2010, 22.3 million shaving brushes were exported, compared to 8.9 million during the first 11 months of 2009, an increase of 151 percent.

 

During the first nine months of 2010, Mexico imported 9.1 million brushes from the United States, while Brazil imported 5.5 million and Canada received 3.7 million. The average price per shaving brush for November 2010 was 50 cents, down 53 percent from $1.06 for November 2009. The average price for the first 11 months of 2010 was 68 cents, down 53 percent from the average price recorded for the first nine months of 2009 of $1.45.

 

Paintbrushes

The export total of paintbrushes during November 2010 was 144,282, up 77 percent from 81,477 paintbrush exports recorded for November 2009. During the first 11 months of 2010, 1.9 million paintbrushes were exported, up 96 percent from 970,071 during the first 11 months of 2009.

 

Canada imported 1.2 million paintbrushes from the United States during the first 11 months of 2010, while The Netherlands received 201,219 and The United Kingdom imported 110,750.

 

The average price per paintbrush for November 2010 was $14.12, down 15 percent from $16.53 for November 2009. The average price for the first 11 months of 2010 was $11.85, down 24 percent from $15.68 recorded for the first 11 months of 2009.

Click here for November 2010 Export/Import Statistics


deal

U.S. Imports 24 Short Tons
Of Broom Corn In December

By Harrell Kerkhoff, Broom Brush & Mop Editor

 

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, 24 short tons of broom corn were imported into the United States in December 2010. Total value of this import was $39,939, with a cost per ton of $1,664 (83 cents per pound). All imported broom corn for December arrived from Mexico.

 

December’s 24 imported short tons was the lowest monthly total in 2010, with the second lowest being January 2010 when 48 short tons were imported.

 

For the year, the United States received 1,017 short tons of broom corn, with a total value of $2,733,000. The cost per ton average for 2010 was $2,687 ($1.34 per pound). All but 10 short tons of imported broom corn for the year arrived from Mexico, with the remaining imports coming from Indonesia last June.

 

Richard Caddy, of R.E. Caddy & Co., Inc., in Greensboro, NC, said he didn’t feel the total value of December’s imported broom corn was accurate.

 

“I don’t know any broom corn from Mexico that is available for that kind of price (83 cents per pound). It would be more believable if it was twice that price,” Caddy said. “From a tonnage standpoint, (24 short tons) is not very much broom corn, but December can be a slow month.”


Richard Caddy

Caddysaid the 2010 end-of-the-year figures for broom corn imports was “a lot closer to reality.” This includes the price per pound average of $1.34.

 

Regarding the current state of Mexican broom corn activity, Caddy reported on March 11 that processors have indicated to him there remains a decent enough supply available to meet current demand. The quality of broom corn processing also continues to be good.

 

Looking ahead to this summer’s first major broom corn crop out of Torreon,Mexico, Caddy said it’s too early to know for sure how large of a planting to expect.

 

“There are still the same concerns in place regarding (Mexican) farmers planting other crops that can bring in higher prices compared to broom corn,” he said. “(Mexican) broom corn pricing has stayed fairly steady, so hopefully there is enough of an incentive for farmers to plant enough broom corn.”

 

According to Caddy, it doesn't look like U.S. broom corn buyers will see too many imports come from the Apatzingan region of Mexico. This broom corn is normally harvested in February and March.

 

“Processors I have talked with thought there might be a small amount of tonnage (from Apatzingan), but were not real optimistic,” he said. “Once in a while they are optimistic that a certain amount of broom corn is good enough in quality to be exported from Apatzingan. I have not heard that optimism this year.”

 

There is better news, however, concerning the availability of yucca fiber. Caddy said this broom-making material is available, while pricing can be best described as “up and down.”

 

“(Yucca fiber pricing) just depends on what day you want to buy right now,” he said. “Meanwhile, the quality of the yucca fiber we have received as of late is good, while lead times are around two to three weeks.”  

 

When asked about the level of overall business at his company, Caddy classified it as being “fairly good.”

 

“I think the economy was trying to improve a little bit, but now oil prices are jumping up. This brings with it uncertainty. It’s hard to say right now how this will influence consumers,” he said.

 

(Continued on Top Right Column)

Bart Pelton, of PelRay International, LLC, in San Antonio, TX, agreed with Caddy that December’s broom corn import price average, reported by the U.S. government at 83 cents per pound, was way too low.

 

“You can’t even buy raw broom corn for that price,” Pelton said.

 

He did feel the import total of 24 short tons for December, as well as 1,017 short tons for the entire year, were much more believable figures.


Bart Pelton

Pelton also noted that all but 10 short tons of imported broom corn for 2010 came from Mexico.

 

“There isn’t enough broom corn demand and price difference right now to make it worthwhile to import broom corn from any other country,” Pelton said. “If prices were to go up enough in Mexico down the road, it might get to the point that some Mexican (buyers) could be interested in importing broom corn from Eastern Europe, South America or wherever they could find it cheaper.

 

“Broom corn prices would have to go up quite a bit to make that worthwhile.”

 

When interviewed on March 14, Pelton added that Mexican broom corn pricing was remaining stable. The Mexican peso continues to strengthen against the U.S. dollar, he said, keeping broom corn pricing firm — along with prices for many other imports coming from Mexico.

 

Looking ahead toward this summer’s first Torreon broom corn harvest in Mexico, Pelton said planting for this crop should be starting. However, he doesn’t expect a large planting to take place.

 

“I see planting activity dropping quite a bit from last year as broom corn prices have fallen from 2010 (levels), while prices for alternative crops have dramatically increased,” he said. “I think many of these other crops will be more attractive for farmers to plant in Mexico, decreasing the size of the broom corn crop.

 

“This will not necessarily hurt us right away because there is still plenty of carry-over broom corn left from last year. When this carry-over inventory becomes depleted we will then probably see prices move up. I’m not sure when this will take place.”

 

Pelton reported that getting accurate news from the broom corn growing regions of Mexico remains problematic due to continual security issues.

 

“It’s still not safe to travel in northern Mexico. You have to be a lot more careful than before. There are certainly fewer buyers willing to travel to Torreon,” he said. “It’s hard to get a feel for what is going on when it comes to broom corn production.”

 

Another concern in the North American broom corn industry, Pelton reported, is the decreasing amount of shelf space becoming available in Walmart stores for corn brooms. He added it’s possible this trend is being repeated at several other retail establishments as well.

 

Although the harvesting of broom corn will not begin in Torreon until this summer, Pelton said some new broom corn is available right now. It was grown in the Apatzingan region of Mexico.

 

“It’s a fairly small amount. If I were to guess, it would be under 100 tons on a processed basis,” he said.

 

Regarding yucca fiber, Pelton reported in mid-March that prices are firm, partly due to the exchange rate between Mexico and the United States.

 

“Yucca prices are about the same as last month, but are up 2 to 3 cents (a pound) from where they were several months ago,” he said.

 

Tim Monahan, of The Thomas Monahan Co., in Arcola, IL, was unavailable for comment during this month’s broom corn dealer survey.





Nexstep Commercial Products Introduces MaxiPlus® Professional Angle Broom With Fiberglass Handle


Nexstep Commercial Products has introduced its MaxiPlus® Professional Angle Broom with Fiberglass Handle. According to the company, the product features:

 

• Low-profile black shroud, which makes sweeping in hard-to-get corners and under all sizes/types of furniture easier;


• Flagged polypropylene bristles, allowing for the sweeping of fine particles;


• Fully washable and long-lasting bristles, which are easily washed and sanitized;


• Patented locking mechanism, keeping broom handle securely in place;


•Fiberglass handle, which is lightweight, yet durable and easily sanitized. Fiberglass is a good choice for use in food processing plants, foodservice facilities and correctional institutions; and,


• Swivel hang cap, helping keep the janitor’s closet clean and organized.


The MaxiPlus® Professional Angle Broom with Fiberglass Handle provides a sweeping width of 13-inches.

Visit www.ocedarcommercial.com


Lenzing Sells Plastics Filaments Business To Consortium Headed By Global Equity Partners

Lenzing AG has sold its plastics filaments businesses to a consortium of private investors headed by the Austrian group Global Equity Partners (GEP).

 

The consortium jointly acquires directly and indirectly 100 percent of the shares in Pedex GmbH (Affolterbach, Germany), Hahl Filaments GmbH (Munderkingen, Germany), Hahl Filaments s.r.o. (Plan, Czech Republic) and Hahl Inc. (Lexington, SC). They produce mainly plastics bristles and monofilaments for a wide range of industrial and consumer goods. There was no disclosure of the acquisition price.

 

Lenzing CEO Peter Untersperger explained: "We want to focus our resources more on our core business of cellulose fibers in the future. Our portfolio analysis showed that plastics filaments no longer perfectly match the Lenzing strategy, and that this business will be given better long-term development potential by a different owner.

 

According to Lenzing, GEP emerged as the best bidder from a sales process.

 

Visit www.lenzing.com and www.gep.at for more information on the two companies.



Wooster Avalon Paint Rollers
Are Designed For Modern Paints

Coatings have evolved over the last decade, creating unique application challenges. They offer high color saturation and low VOCs, but they also pull lint from common roller covers and dry extremely fast. 

 

Time is of the essence when applying these paints, while painters don’t want to end up with fuzzy walls.  Avalon™, from The Wooster Brush Company, is made with a proprietary green-grey fabric, designed to take on these demands, according to Wooster.

 

Avalon’s shed-resistant characteristic means no more fuzzy walls, even when applying today’s quick-drying paints. Significant design and testing time went into the making of Avalon — a collaborative effort between Wooster and its fabric supplier. 

 

Avalon is available in four pile heights: 3/8-inch, 1/2-inch, 3/4-inch and 1 1/4-inch. Avalon rollers can be used  when applying flat, eggshell and satin paints.  

Zahoransky USA Management Appoints
Kevin Kigyos Vice President
Brush Machinery Sales/Service

 

Zahoransky USA (ZUSA), a subsidiary of Zahoransky AG, Germany, has announced the appointment of Kevin Kigyos as vice president of brush machinery sales and service.


Kigyos was most recently employed by Franklin Automation as an engineering manager. He was responsible for electrical/controls design and project management regarding Franklin’s custom automation projects, and will now be responsible for brush machinery sales at ZUSA. He will also provide further support to ZUSA Customer Service Manager Jack Kee. 

 

In conjunction with this move, ZUSA also announces the return of company president Artur Seger to Zahoransky AG, Germany, where he will take over the management of the vertical brush machinery operations in Todtnau, Germany. The Vertical Brush Machinery Division is where all household and technical broom and brush machines are designed and assembled.  


At the same time, Seger will continue on as president of ZUSA, managing the overall company operations together with his colleague, and company CEO, Frank Kigyos.


“Overall, this move makes ZUSA stronger and fit for the future,” Seger said. “Kevin will do a great job, and I will continue to function as president, managing the company’s affairs together with Frank.”  

For further information about the Zahoransky-Group, visit www.zahoransky.com
 or call Zahoransky USA at 1-630-466-1901.


Shurhold Features Flexible Cleaning Combo

Part of Shurhold’s exclusive One-Handle-Does-It-All System, the Swivel pad Combo includes a swivel pad base and synthetic lamb’s wool cover. The swivel Pad’s free-floating design follows contoured surfaces and fits into narrow spaces and under roof-mounted equipment.

 

 

The pad adapter attaches to any of Shurhold’s telescoping or fixed-length handles with the positive-locking Shur-Lok quick release system. This system keeps the attached cleaning accessories in place during use.

 

A synthetic lamb’s wool replacement cover is also available and is easy to remove with a side-opening flap.

 

Shurhold manufactures specialty care items and accessories to clean, polish and detail. For more information, call 800-962-6241 or visit www.shurhold.com/rv.