Brazil is among the world’s largest producers of textiles and the largest producer of cotton and denim. But what’s driving companies like Textil Bezerra de Menezes is what’s happening right under its looms. Christopher Van Buren tells the story.
The textile business in Brazil comprises more than 30,000 companies and generates nearly two million jobs. Brazil is the fifth largest producer of clothing on the planet and is among the world’s top producers of cotton, denim, and the yarns and fibers that go into them. It is the eighth largest producer of fabric in general. More important, Brazil is more than a producer. It is also one of the world’s largest markets for textiles: clothing, bed and bath products, and home accessories.
At the foundation of much of this activity is a company called Textil Bezerra de Menezes. The largest producer of threads and yarns in Latin America, Bezerra supplies its customers with all sizes and types of yarn, from cotton to synthetics. But Bezerra is more than a producer; it is also a distributor, bringing products from the outside into the Brazilian market. In this way, Bezerra is both an importer and an exporter of textiles and Vice President Ivan Jose Bezerra de Mendes, is turning a great deal of his attention to the domestic need.
“The Brazilian market is a growing market,” begins Bezerra. “Our clients are the biggest in Brazil in both clothing and yardage. We supply a portfolio of products for all the necessities of our clients. We have all types of Spandex and polyester, even equipment.”
For Bezerra, the product is what drives its marketing…all the way down to the production process on the factory floor. “We have a program of bringing our clients and friends to our company to see our activity. We also do this with our suppliers. Our main marketing is done through direct relationships and collaborations. We supply everything for our clients, so they can serve the end customer.”
Bezerra supplies a wide range of yarns in configurations for all needs. The most important is the company’s compact yarns at Ne 40 to Ne 80, threads of the highest quality and value. Bezerra also produces open-end yarns and a wide range of lower-end configurations. “In 1980, we produced 300 tons per month. In 1986, we constructed a second unit and began looking for economies of scale.” From there, the company continued to grow. In 1997 Bezerra modernized its first unit at an investment of over $18 million. Production increased 70 percent as a result. In 2002 the company built its compacted yarns unit, which it spun off under the name TBM S/A.
The company, which has 1200 employees, tries to keep labor to a minimum, investing in the modernization of its processes. “Today, everything is automated and we like to train new people. We don’t want people with habits from other companies; we never contract outsiders for our management positions,” explains Bezerra. Combining these long-standing traditions with modern materials and processes is what the Brazilian textile industry does best and Textil Bezerra de Menezes supplies that thread that holds the entire industry together.