Success Stories - Stepac
Stepac - Rapid Global Growth in Just 10 Years
Located for over 20 years in the Tefen Industrial Park, Stepac has grown from a small medical packaging company to a global supplier of comprehensive quality assurance programs for the harvesting and delivery of fresh produce.
Stepac’s founder Israel Ben-Tzur had been living in Los Angeles, California for a number of years with his family and had established a company for the distribution and sales of medical products, together with French and American partners.
When his young children reached school age, in the early 1990s, he and his wife Shosh decided to return to Israel with the family. Ben-Tzur approached his partners with the proposition of opening a manufacturing facility for medical products in Israel and traveled to Israel to evaluate the potential for investment.
The family visited Tefen and decided to establish the factory in the Industrial Park.
Their decision was made in light of the government investment incentives offered in the region and the attractive, secure environment and package of services provided by the Industrial Park. The family claimed that, compared to the poor development and maintenance of the other industrial zones in Israel, Tefen provided a higher standard, that they had grown to expect abroad.
The proximity to the Kfar Vradim residential community was also an important factor. From the outset, the family decided that they wanted to build a house in Kfar Vradim. After living in a pleasant suburban area of Los Angeles they were not prepared to live in Tel Aviv or any other Israeli city. The Tefen Industrial Park and Kfar Vradim provided the family with a quality of life they had become accustomed to.
In 1993 Stepac L.A. Ltd. was established in the Tefen Industrial Park with twelve employees. The company began producing bags for sterile medical packaging, to be distributed by the company’s partners in the US. When an employee incidentally discovered that fresh vegetables stored in the refrigerator in one of Stepac’s bags kept the produce fresh much longer than expected, the company embarked on a new field of development.
The result was the Xtend range of packaging and the core technology for a total quality assurance program for harvesting and delivering fresh produce. Together with the CARERITE product line of infection control barrier films and sterilization bags for the medical community, the Xtend Integrated Post Harvest System was marketed successfully worldwide.
The company expanded quickly and established additional production facilities in Phoenix, Arizona; and sales and technical support offices in Brazil, Turkey, Britain and Russia.
A little more than ten years after the company’s establishment growth reached over 30% per year, Stepac had 100 employees worldwide, 50% of whom worked in the Tefen Industrial Park, and company sales reached some $15 million.
The Tefen Industrial Park provided a comfortable and convenient environment in which the company could grow. As Stepac expanded, they easily recruited a team of excellent employees and expanded to occupy an entire building in the Park.
At the end of 2011, DS Smith, a leading European packaging corporation, purchased the Xtend product line. Company operations continue at Tefen, where the company continues to develop and grow.