History of Alcochem

Alcochem B.V. was founded 1974 setting up cross-trade activities initially between Russia and China for industrial Alcohol and Chemical products.

Having offices in and knowledge of the Polish market, several requests came in for search of production facilities that could compete with the relatively expensive labor cost in Western Europe. As a result of these inquiries Alcochem Steel en Alcochem Hygiene were added to the business activities of the Alcochem group.

In the 90-ties, market demand steered Alcochem to Poland evolving in supply to raw materials to the detergent industry.


Due to economic developments, Alcochem transferred the main production capacity for Steel and Hygiene’s products from Poland to Asia in the beginning of the century.

The history of Alcochem B.V. is based on personal contacts and network creation and with that open and honest relationship with all our partners involved. The current set up of the Alcochem group is having 4 divisions, represented by offices in the Netherlands, China, Hong Kong, Russia and Chili.

Usually in business a quick pace is demanded, but now we’d like to take a moment with you to reflect on how it all began, back in 1974. Some of you were already with us in those early days. What about the roots of Alcochem, and what does the journey from the past to the present look like?

The company’s motto is FUN. FUN stands for Financially healthy, Unity and the ability to say No. Of course having fun at work is highly appreciated too. But how to find a balance between approaching work as a playground and keeping a company in good shape? The first letter stands for Financially healthy, which sounds like pushing at an open door, but it is an important anchor. No meaningless phrase. It means that gambling is not an option. It also means keeping one’s relations healthy, in order to build sustainable profits. Unity is a special part of the company. 

Especially since the company has grown really fast in a short time, one wonders how to keep an eye on unity with so many people connected throughout the world. The answer seems to be: unity is a shared mindset. Seeing similarities between employees as well as between different countries. Equally appreciating a well prepared lunch as well as a good CEO’s decision, as they complement each other.

And finally No. Having the guts to say no in an era that glorifies positivity and inter-pretes no to be negative. We have to realize that saying no to one thing means saying yes to something else. One has to change directions once in a while. It is all about making choices to provide for a healthy future. Alcochem chooses for healthy long term relationships, and this requires keeping away from connections or situations that don’t contribute to the well being of the company.


Ever since Alcochem was founded, a key word in all business relations has been trust. All people participating were con-sidered valuable contacts, whether they were clients, purchasers, suppliers or colleagues. As the founders mister Gorka and mister Graaskamp recall, even in difficult times of a State boycott, Alcochem obtained an exceptional position because of the trustful relation that was built.

So successful business stems from having good relations. On the other hand this company isn’t easily satisfied. In despite of all the beautiful relations; delivering good work and keeping track of the best market position stays crucial.

Heading towards the future

Success is a natural goal to any company. Growth is only a part of success. Dedication seems to be just as valuable. Alcochem shows that the quality of the ride might be just as important as reaching the goal. This company is a people centric organization, and therefore the human perspective is greatly valued.

The world has changed rapidly in the last four decades. Politics, culture, means of communication – all of these continuously changing circumstances define the companies’ direction. In the mid 70’s it was all about plan economy and the iron curtain.

Today it is about sustainability and the 24/7 economy requiring to be online all the time. Global politics are an important influence in everyday business life. This goes for the early seventies as well as for current times, we learn from the founders as well as today’s managers.

As a company we chose to move along with changes in the world, meanwhile staying true to our original values. We intend to continu doing so in the future.