The Van der Lem company has been a top tier firm in vegetables and fruits since 1948. The company packs and distributes vegetables and fruits for their customers. "We do what our customers ask and expect from us," says Mike Tesselaar (purchase and sales dept.) Market demands have changed over the past years, our customers now want innovative and sustainable packaging, for us the reason to choose for JASA's sleever.
Things were different in the old days, the Van der Lem family business -specialized in the process of ripening bananas, packaging and transporting vegetables and fruits – They started their business 3 generations ago by delivering their goods to ‘street-corner grocery stores’ and street vendors. Over time, Van der Lem saw its business grow and with that their number of customers. Mike says: "nowadays our customers are mostly supermarkets; but of course, we still serve the traditional specialty greengroceries."
Not just the clientele changed over the years, the market demands changed as well. Up till a few years ago, plastic wrapping was an accepted packaging method, today that is no longer the case. "Our customers look for alternative packaging to avoid the enormous amount of plastic waste. Consumers are exploring sustainable and innovative solutions for this problem. At Van der Lem, we accommodate our customers and deliver the innovative product they ask for."
For quite some time now, consumers are demanding a sustainable replacement for plastic. "Many of our products are still wrapped and packed with plastic products because of the current lack of alternatives. Oranges, for instance, are packed in nylon nettings, a packaging method for which it is tough to find an alternative. Van der Lem is a service provider, yet we felt that it should be possible to make a real change. At Van der Lem we are open-minded about innovations." The starting point for the JASA sleever in our company.
The JASA sleever
At the same time that Van der Lem is exploring the market, investigating new options to pack one of their primary commodities, apples, JASA introduced their Sleever to Van der Lem. For them, the exact sought-after innovation. The Sleever is a perfect all-round solution for any type of bowl. "JASA came to us at exactly the right time. Our customers asked for a new, innovative way to pack our apples. JASA's Sleever was the perfect match for that demand! The way we now pack our apples is innovative, and ahead of any other product we pack. A real step forward!"
Our cooperation with JASA
It is not the first time that Van der Lem joined forces with JASA. "Both JASA and Van der Lem are operating in the same field for many years, hence we know each other, and we have worked together previously on other projects. In 2017 JASA installed our citrus production line, and we are very satisfied with it." Why choose JASA again? "Our companies work well together. The JASA team is capable of adapting quickly, render the required services while focusing on the customer's needs and wishes. Our decision to once again choose for JASA was based on our previous experiences with their work ethics." On top of that, JASA offered a plastic-free packaging for our products, precisely the innovative solution Van der Lem was looking for.
Biting the bullet
The Sleever is up and running, our packed apples are available in supermarkets. The project to get this done took a total of 6 months. "The project went well and as per planning. However, just like any other new product, we had our share of teething problems. Apples are a product of nature and obviously grow on trees. Hence, they come in various sizes. A lot of effort went into adjusting the machine to adapt to these size variations. We found the solution by using a variety of types of sleeves and bowls."
Although the machine runs satisfactory, JASA's take on this is that there is always room for improvement. During the coming period, we will stay focused on fine-tuning the machine to make it even more effective and user-friendly. What happens after that? More innovations? "No, not really. For the time being, we are satisfied with what we have." Conventional packaging combined with the Sleever technique keeps Van der Lem operating at full potential in today's market.
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