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At ACEF, we have been dealing with the distribution of raw materials and ingredients for use in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, galenic products and nutraceuticals since 1940. Our work has always focused on quality and on the will to offer a tailor-made service that caters for the needs of each individual customer.
Research into new ingredients, batching and packaging under GMP, quality control, widespread logistics, technical-regulatory and specialised formulation consultancy: these are the actions that we perform every day to allow our customers to make excellent products.
Our headquarters is in Fiorenzuola d’Arda, near Piacenza, and covers an overall surface of 21,000 sq.m. The covered area of approx. 12,000 sq.m. consists of an office building connected to the production premises, the storage areas and the laboratories.
The structure includes:
The environmental conditions of all batching areas are monitored and recorded and they have an air handling system fitted with different filtering levels, which rules out the likelihood of cross-contamination.
In order to reduce the environmental impact of the production facility, in 2010 we built and installed on the roof a modern photovoltaic system, which is able to withstand a peak capacity of 400 Kilowatt. Thanks to that we contribute to producing clean and environmentally sustainable energy, thereby reducing consumption, hence atmospheric pollution.
Carlo Gianessi and Arturo Grassi, recognising a need by many small chemist’s shops across Italy, have the brilliant idea of starting to market small amounts of active principles. Acting on a strong entrepreneurial spirit, despite the war, they obtain the authorisation to travel in the partisan-controlled area with their truck to dispense medications.
In the wake of the post-war economic boom, a new and very modern headquarters is inaugurated on an area of over 10,000 square metres. At the same time, the founders pursue an internal company reorganisation by hiring new, specialised managerial roles.
Alfredo Grassi, then chairman of ACEF, understands that the pharmaceutical sector cannot be the only driver for the company’s growth, so he decides to widen its scope to other markets, among which the cosmetic one appears to be the most promising. Today, 55% of ACEF’s overall turnover indeed comes from cosmetics: proving that the company’s success stems from what might have appeared as a mere hunch.
The exponential growth in the cosmetic sector is attended by a marked increase in the demand for plant-origin ingredients and tailor-made products on the customers’ specific requests. ACEF, which initially purchased and marketed ready products, now decides to start producing them directly, by setting up Arda Natura, a company producing glycolic, glyceric plant extracts and distilled waters.
The entrepreneurial vision continues guiding the company’s choices and, also in this case, a simple hunch has proven over the years to be a far-sighted choice: ACEF thus also starts dealing with active ingredients intended for nutraceutical companies. The company’s structure is modified and integrated with new roles capable of addressing all the needs of this new market.
Over the years, ACEF continues revealing its innovative and cutting-edge attitude. A tangible proof is the UNI EN-ISO 9001 certification, obtained in the mid nineties for the first time. In order to achieve this great objective, it is decided to set up weighing rooms with filtered air and an internal procedure manual that not only defines the rules to be complied with but the work flows as well. These new rules mark the switch from a small, “handicraft” firm to a well-established company on the market.
At ACEF, the focus on the environment has always been an important aspect to be pursued. It is therefore decided to remove the whole Eternit roof of the facility and to install a modern photovoltaic roof system. The system – which is able to withstand a peak capacity of 400 Kilowatt – allows the company to be self-sufficient in terms of energy requirements when the weather is fair. In light of the brilliant results obtained, ACEF and other companies in the area decide to set up Fiorenergia, a concern operating in the sector of energy production from renewable sources.
For ACEF, certifications have always been a means for proving its commitment and focus on quality. By investing in the pharmaceutical sector again, ACEF obtains from AIFA the authorisation for the activities of batch importing, repackaging and release. In particular, ACEF obtains the authorisation for batching the active ingredients in small amounts.
Also in this case ACEF stands out as a visionary and enterprising organisation, indeed it is the first Italian company to be authorised to purchase, store and sell to chemist’s shops therapeutic cannabis produced in the Netherlands. Today, ACEF distributes and markets therapeutic cannabis to chemist’s shops and hospitals throughout Italy, also performing a training activity for healthcare professionals with a free consultancy and support service.
In the galenic sector, ACEF has initiated the CITEX Project (www.progettocitex.it) which deals with issues relating to smoking cessation therapy. Through this project it has been possible to provide Doctors and Patients with magisterial preparations useful for the treatment of smoking addiction, stipulating about 80 supply contracts with the chemist’s shops involved.
The work to enlarge the current facility, which starts in 2014 and ends in 2017, leads to the inauguration of a new building connected to the current production facility. The new facility is designed to best address customers and employees’ needs and to best promote the well-being of all the people who deal with the organisation.
ACEF joins RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil), the Non-Profit Association that promotes the use of sustainable palm oil products. Aware of its role along the palm derivatives supply chain, ACEF is committed to supplying RSPO certified raw materials, thus guaranteeing the continuity of certification for cosmetic ingredients.
ACEF continues the path of continuous improvement in quality management with the acquisition of two important certifications: UNI EN ISO 14001 for the control and reduction of environmental impacts and UNI ISO 45001 for the protection of the health and safety of workers.