SINCE 1884.

140 anniversary

2024 marks a milestone in Omya’s long history: this year we celebrate 140 years in business. Our pride in this achievement is matched by our commitment to continue thinking of tomorrow, developing products and solutions that make life better for current and future generations.

Omya's 140th anniversary

Where it all began

On August 4th 1884, Emma Staufer married Gottfried Plüss in Oftringen, Switzerland. On the same day, they launched their company Plüss-Staufer, to make high quality window putty from chalk and linseed oil.


The first of many innovations, this made a huge difference to the window makers of the time who had to respond to the new fashion for plate glass windows. The larger the glass, the stronger the putty required, and so only the highest quality chalk and linseed oil would do. 


Since then, we have focused our expertise on using high quality minerals to provide solutions to new challenges.


Our plant in Omey, France provided the inspiration for the new company name, Omya, which has represented our business ever since.

Omya old building

Thinking of Tomorrow for 140 years

Innovation is the lifeblood of our company and there are countless examples of where we have used our expertise in, and passion for, minerals and chemistry to solve challenges faced by our customers and by society. Some of these examples are included on our ‘innovation timeline’ here.

Innovation timeline

Global Distribution celebrates 130 years

Just ten years after Omya was founded, we created our Global Distribution Services, which provides all our markets worldwide with a carefully curated portfolio of ingredients and specialty materials. This is important to our customers, who rely on Omya to provide a ‘one stop shop’, and for our principals, who rely on our ability to market their products globally on their behalf.


Now, 130 years after its launch, Omya Global Distribution Services operates in 155 countries. We support the development of new products and solutions, whilst maintaining a strong focus on reducing the carbon footprint of those solutions to help our customers, their customers and the environment.

Transportation, import-export and logistics concept, container truck, ship in port and freight cargo plane in transport and import-export commercial logistic, shipping business industry ; Shutterstock ID 787724593; purchase_order: POL; job: Kshow; client: ; other:

Why is our long heritage important?

Omya remains a privately owned business. This is important because it allows us to make longer term decisions rather than chasing short term profits. For this reason, we have invested in our own mineral deposits that will provide sufficient raw materials for the next century at least.

Our company values, modesty, courtesy, integrity and perseverance, have been embedded over many years and provide our 9,000 colleagues with a common approach to business. We are confident that over the next 140 years we will build on our achievements to date, always thinking of tomorrow so that we can continue to make life better through our passion for minerals and chemistry.

Omya facts & figures

Omya takes a long-term approach to business.
  • CHF 4

    billion turnover
  • 160

  • 50

  • 9000

  • 17

    dedicated laboratories
  • 325

    patent families