Incorporated in 1998, Naturally Advanced technologies (NAT), through its wholly owned subsidiary CRAiLAR® Fiber Technologies Inc and in collaboration with Canada's National Research Council and the Alberta Research Council, is developing proprietary technology to process bast fibers such as hemp and flax, cellulose pulp, and the resulting by-products. The Group through CRAiLAR® technology offers a cost-effective, environmentally sustainable processing solution expected to result in products with increased performance characteristics applicable to the textile, energy, composite materials, and auto, marine and aerospace industries. With Market Capitalization of $36.3MM the company's financial position shows raise of $1.4 million closed May 21, 2010. Mr Kenneth C Barker has been Chief Executive Officer of NAT since August 24, 2006, and its board member since February 6, 2006. He has over twenty years of apparel experience, including merchandising, sourcing and full profit and loss responsibility, public market experience and corporate governance. During October 2003 through April 2005, Mr Barker was the head of apparel for the North American region for adidas International, where he was responsible for all strategic product and marketing functions within the region. His duties also included providing overall apparel direction and strategy for the adidas North American apparel business, creation of the global brand vision of apparel, and being responsible for sales delivery and brand strategy in the North American marketplace. For the period January 2001 to October 2003, Mr Barker was the director of apparel for adidas America, where he was responsible for overall profit and loss for the entire apparel business in the United States. Mr Barker also previously worked for adidas Canada Limited in Toronto, Canada and Levi Strauss & Co. Interviewed by Ms Madhu Soni, Sr Editor & Correspondent-Face2Face, Mr Kenneth Barker throws light on immense potential of Bast Fibres as cotton substitute.
Mr Barker, Face2Face welcomes you. Let us begin the discourse with one of the important industry issues; renewable and environmentally sustainable biomass offerings as need of hour, and how company like Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc (NAT) comes to picture?
Naturally Advanced Technologies, Inc and CRAiLAR® Fiber Technologies Inc is striving to make it easier and more cost effective for manufacturers and consumers to operate on the Triple Bottomline Philosophy(3BL-people, planet, profit) philosophy. With expected improvements in, including but not limited to, time and environmental footprint of manufacturing, agricultural practices and feedstock sourcing, and product quality and lifecycle, CRAiLAR® solutions have the potential to deliver value across the 3BL. CRAILAR® products are expected to have applications to many industries including such environmental heavyweights as traditional and performance apparel, and composite materials.
You are at helm of managerial chores as CEO and board member for company like NAT – engaged in sorting out environment issues. Is such kind of company to be managed differently than a commercial figure?
Yes. Fundamentally the company is managed from a deep set of guiding principles that form our 'North Star': i.e. that determine how we manage resources, people, planet and profit in what we refer to as a 'Brutally Transparent’ business model. Including profit in our guiding principles ensures that we respect our returns to our shareholders, which further implies that operationally we still remain diligent, strategic, and commercially viable across a very broad range of industrial applications. Being a sustainable company is worthless if we cannot remain profitable and thrive, bringing our technology to an ever increasing audience.
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.