Back in 1982, Johan Ewijk buys his first two goats and starts to make goat cheese from the milk, and selling it at fairs. Nearly forty years later, this, what started as a hobby, turned into a successful business with multiple production sites: Bettinehoeve. The goat cheese from the Bettinehoeve has firmly taken its place on the supermarket’s shelves.
Nowadays, the Bettine goat cheese comes wrapped in a JASA Sleever. Bettinehoeve’s production manager and head of the technical department, Mr. Remco van Gastel, says: “We were looking for packaging innovations that at the same time, would reduce our plastic consumption. That’s how we found JASA!”
Bettinehoeve: a family business with a story
By the time Johan Ewijk made fame by selling his cheese at fairs, it had become obvious his customers had acquired a genuine taste for his goat cheese. Consequently, his customers asked him if he was able to produce larger quantities. Remco: “Johan, became immediately enthusiastic about it, and responded with a resolute ‘yes,’ after which he had to figure out a way to actually make that happen.” Then, in 1990, Johan managed to pull this off. He made deals with various dairy farmers in the neighborhood. They supplied him with the milk needed for the production of his goat cheese. For the ensuing period, the business thrives until it is faced with a major set-back in 1992 when the production plant is destroyed by fire. Luckily this did not lead to the end of the Bettinehoeve. A new production plant was established in 1993, which is still operational today. In 2007 a second production plant became operational, and a third is planned for 2021!” The company is currently under control of General Manager Sybren Ewijk, the son of Johan.
The world’s best cheese
The story of the Bettinehoeve is impressive in itself, but the goat cheese cannot be ignored either. The produced hard goat cheese is dubbed Bettine Grand Cru. This cheese was presented at the yearly Nantwich, England International Cheese Show in 2006, where it received a prestigious award and was elected the world’s best cheese! Proof of the fact that the Bettinehoeve lives up to its mission from the start in 1982 to date. The mission statement is straight forward: “produce and market tasty goat dairy made from high-quality goat-milk.”
A changing market: growth and automation
Although the mission statement has not changed, the market definitely has. “The demand for goat-milk and goat-milk products increased tremendously. More and more people suffer from lactose intolerance or just search for a different experience from cow-milk, a fact we notice!” Remco also notices developments in goat-dairy products: “In our immediate surroundings, as well as at other producers we see that automation is a hot item. Producers desire automated processes to enhance their productivity by creating a better and increased flow, thus increasing production capacity.”
Automation and plastic reduction by JASA
Obviously, Bettinehoeve is enthused by the idea of automation. However, other goals weigh in as well. “We searched for ways to innovate our established product, while at the same time using less plastic. One of the aims of Bettinehoeve is to partake in social development, and reduce the world’s plastic soup.” JASA’s Sleever matches this wish perfectly; the sleeves are 100% recyclable, and the machine wraps the produce at warp speed. “We found JASA early on during our search for a packaging partner. JASA aims for the same goals, and they already gained the required experience with similar projects.”
A family business: a feast of recognition
What attracted Bettinehoeve to JASA? “The teamwork. From the start, our connection was sincere and informal, just the way I like it. Our company too is a family business; we share the same values and abide by similar company culture. That instilled a lot of confidence, and convinced us that JASA was the right partner for us.” The cooperation is pleasant, and the process of developing the Sleever went smooth. “It proved to be a real advantage that JASA has its own production site, enabling us to explore various solutions and options. The way JASA participated in the development of our production line was amazing!”
From sleeve to automated sleeve
The Bettinehoeve already used a sleeve to wrap its products. However, this was a manual process. Currently, the JASA Sleever wraps the goat cheeselets in 100% recyclable sleeves without any human toil. “JASA Installed the Sleever swiftly and proficiently. Another perk; two weeks before the installation of the machine, we were invited to do a test run at JASA. During this test run, we found a few issues that needed adjustments. During the short period before the final installation at our plant, JASA installed these modifications.” This way, JASA ensures they can live up to the promises they make and thus rule out delays and teething problems.
The current automated method of packaging the Bettine goat cheese in round cups with a sleeve works satisfactory. “This beckons for more. We want to move forward and grow our company. Hence, we evaluated our other processes determining which can be automated in the future. We also keep an eye out in the market, scrutinizing new trends and demands, enabling us to adapt quickly to new demands. At the Bettinehoeve, nobody sits on their hands, making it a dynamic company. “Just that is a big part of the fun working for Bettinehoeve, but it is also what we look for in our partners. JASA has proved to be a perfect fit for us.”
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