John J. Farber

Chairman of ICC Industries, Inc. and Chairman at Frutarom Industries Ltd.

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Celebrating a Leader in Plastics

In early 2018, alum John J. Farber (’57) garnered admiring attention in the business press when Frutarom, an Israeli-based company in which he held a majority stake, sold for $7.1 billion in cash and stock to New York City-based manufacturer International Flavors & Fragrances. The historic sale marked the second-largest purchase of any Israeli-based company ever.

He recently got even more good news: in October he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Plastics Engineers' thermoforming division.

Farber, who studied under the legendary polymer scientist Herman Mark at what was then known as Brooklyn Poly, had founded a holding company, ICC Chemicals, while still working on his thesis, and in 1965 he founded the firm Primex Plastics in a garage in Englewood, N.J., starting out with a single extruder. Today, Primex has more than 125 high-volume extrusion lines and employs more than 1,000 people globally.

At the awards ceremony, a company representative affirmed that Farber, now in his 90s, "never lost his belief that plastics are critical to our lives [and have] made many of our possessions cheaper, lighter, safer and stronger."