Food safety and flexibility towards our customers are key”
Flemish food companies are transforming their factories into high-technology sites ready to tackle the challenges of the future. The Factory of the Future Awards amply demonstrate this and Royal Agrifirm Group was awarded once again. Just like in 2017, the award was presented to the factory in Drongen (Belgium), which produces premixes, concentrates, mineral mixtures and young animal feeds. Danone and Cargill also received awards.
Many years of scientific research and innovation
Royal Agrifirm Group, through its Nuscience entity, had already been awarded this prize in 2017 for their state-of-the-art factory in Drongen, where digitalisation, among other elements, provides for better traceability. “We are ambitious in tackling today’s challenges: we offer innovative solutions for swine, poultry and ruminants. In Drongen, we develop and produce premixes, concentrates, mineral mixtures, young animal feeds and additives for the feed industry,” says Chris Mercier, Operations Director at Agrifirm EMEA. “Translating many years of scientific research and innovation into practical solutions through our teams in the market, we strive to partner with our customers in developing solutions for the challenges of today’s food production. Through flexible and efficient production of safe animal feeds and feed materials for the feed industry we contribute to food safety and a responsible food chain for future generations.”
Doubling of production capacity thanks to its own people
With a combination of best practices and new concepts, predominantly developed by its own employees, Royal Agrifirm Group continued to invest in its smart factory just along the E40 highway. “Food safety and flexibility towards our customers are key. We aim to be able to respond to rapidly changing market demands at any time. Every detail is important in this respect and we are constantly optimising the factory in Drongen. This has enabled us to double our production capacity whilst improving our quality and service to our customers. Our employees play a key role in this respect. They are always closely involved in improvement projects and their continued development, training and creativity in past years is the basis for our continuous improvement and this Factory of the Future-recognition.” The development of the factory will continue. “This year, we switched to green energy, which we supplemented with solar panels installed in 2020. In the near future, additional sustainability projects to reduce energy, waste and CO2 emissions will be prominent.”
About the award
The Factory of the Future Awards recognise future-oriented companies that through means of seven crucial transformations prepare themselves for the challenges of Industry 4.0. According to sector federation Fevia Vlaanderen and cluster collaboration platform Flanders’ FOOD, that jointly support this initiative, these transformations are of vital importance for Flemish food companies. “Ongoing investment in innovation and automation, with a view to cooperation and employees, ensures that Flemish food companies continue to be internationally competitive and are able to respond faster to future trends,” says Geert Vermeersch, Chairman of Fevia Vlaanderen.