Established in 1934 by Laura and Pedro Fontana. The young couple started as an individual company. Always believing in hard work, they insisted on occupying a market that, in those times, was very restricted and adverse. The chain supply difficulties and the little available capital of the family were not enough for them to give up on their dream: to be a producer and seller of soaps in this small region of southern Brazil.
“Zebu”, “Combate” and Laçador” were the first brands of bar soaps. Characterized as standard products of the time, they had a classic saponification formula (mixture of animal fat and caustic soda) meeting the needs of consumers.
Pedro Fontana and Laura Sanderson
Around 1958, the couple decided to hand over the company’s business to their sons Cezário and Dinarte Fontana, transforming the individual company into an LLC, under the name of “Fontana e Cia Ltda”.
The dynamism and vision of the business contributed to increase sales of products, new equipment, and technologies, developing the company. As of May 1979, it was renamed Fontana S/A.
Cesário Fontana and Dinarte Fontana
In the 80’s the two brothers started to consolidated Fontana’s Company purpose: to be an important industry, totally Brazilian, in the field of Personal Care, Laundry Care and Household Products in Brazil. Producing bar soap through outsourcing contracts, for world-renowned brands as BDF Nivea, Johnson & Johnson, Davene, among others. All these skills raised the company to dynamic international markets. The development of new product lines improving values and innovative formulas, update presentations packs were and continue to be constant search for the company, its employees, and suppliers.
The biggest challenge for the third generation, which takes over the company in the 1990s: to professionalize without losing the characteristics inherited from its founders. Thus, the Company’s Management Board has two Managing Directors and a Board of Directors with three members. This administrative legal format ensures success for the company’s strategic plans and budgets.
2000s – The company currently has two production units:
With annual sales of around 37 MM euros, it is one of the main Brazilian Manufactures of Personal Care/Laundry Products and a strong Oleochemical Provider.
Its products are in several countries around the world: Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Russia, China, Ivory Coast, USA.
The Headquarter and Industry Plant are located in Encantado City/RS. A new Unit in Palmeiras de Goiás/GO is under implementation. A large network of exclusive distributors, costumers, reatils, and Fontana’s commercial warehouses complete the Commercial Structure in the cities of Campo Grande/MS, Itapecerica da Serra/SP, Salvador/BA and Recife/PE.
Even with the great professionalization of the company, the recognition of the successful trajectory of Pedro, Cesário and Dinarte is still present in the active participation of their wives on the Fontana Board of Directors. A recognition of their roles as co-founders and respect for their trajectories.
The Matriarchs, Glacy Fontana and Dejamira Fontana, are fundamental in decision-making and in directing them with a view to the future.
Determination and firmness are some of the hallmarks of the 80-year-old shareholder and matriarch, Glacy Ana Fontana. In addition to following the company's development alongside her husband Dinarte, she witnessed the entrepreneurial vision of her parents-in-laws, Pedro and Laura, who in the 1930s started the production of soaps. Today, as a member of the Board of Directors, Glacy participates in the meetings and helps to define the strategic planning, which guides the company's principles. Currently, Fontana is managed by his son Mauricio and his nephew Ricardo.
It was in Taquara, in Putinga Town, a small County that belonged to Encantado, that Dejamira Lurdes Fontana was born and lived until he was 13 years old. He finished elementary school, finished high school at Colégio Madre Margarida and started her studies in the accounting area, which was common at that time. Daughter of Angelo Cirillo Pretto and Armelinda De Mari Pretto has always been dedicated to the home. "My parents founded “Neusa’s clothing knitting company”, to be a family business for their children. My responsibilities were to do the housework, cooked and took care of my two younger brothers in the morning and go to school in the afternoon", she remembers.
December 2017 marks the beginning of the implementation of a new industrial unit in the state of Goiás/Brazil. Over the next few years, it will start operations, consolidating the technological expansion included in the Company’s Internationalization Plan.
Fontana Paraguay S/A, established in January 2017, marks the company’s internationalization and business development across borders. It improves with the expansion of distributors in the countries of South and Central America, in addition to the northern and central western states of Brazil.
The Quality Policy includes the following objectives: Satisfaction of external consumers, understanding their needs and expectations; Maintain partnership with suppliers; Continuous improvement in its processes through quality indicators and the Good Practices Manual; Train and educate your employees with effective training.
Caring for the Environment: Ranked among the 10 best companies in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in terms of environmental care, with a considerable reduction in the production of industrial waste and sending packaging materials for recycling.
Laura Fontana Foundation: A Tribute to the company’s founder, aims at social, cultural, and recreational interaction for its members. Created in October 1986, its headquarters is in the city of Encantado, and its mission is to develop the quality of life of its members through educational and financial programs support.