The global food and global pharmaceutical industries' growing need for high-quality gelatin far, far exceeds that of all the global photo-industries combined. That being said, as long as there are multiple suppliers of high-quality pharmaceutical-grade gelatins, there will be photographic film and photographic paper manufacturers that will continue to survive using a fractional percentage of the total global gelatin output. This is really a non-story, except for paranoid wall street journal readers.
I live about 3 miles from the plant. They use to employ a lot of people. Now it's just a skeleton of itself :(
I read this today on the train as well. ugh dropping in someone who specializes in their intellectual property at the helm of Kodak now only signifies the sell off will continue. Does no one there at Kodak understand you cant continue to recoup losses by selling off key components, you can only shed so much before you make the business inoperable. You need good products that are in demand, you need innovation, fresh ideas, and new talent, things that will get the business community to reinvest in them, and bring up share prices. The way they are handling this makes me mad.
Will this change much for us?
I don't think so, except that Kodak will be buying its gelatin from someone else. As Eastman Gelatine was a subsidiary company, EK would most likely have bought its gelatin from EG like any other customer, even though EG's profit from that would go eventually to its own bottom line.
Very few companies are vertically integrated anymore. They try to focus on what their core skill is rather than be distracted by everything else. I'd guess that Fuji nor Ilford have gelatin divisions. That said, I do wish that Kodak would sell their film division to someone who would see it as their sole business and feel they need to make it work. I think there is a viable, but smaller, business there to serve the photography market.
Not as current but this article on Reuters will be somewhat interesting..
As Kodak struggles, Eastman Chemical thrives