When it comes to high-quality seafood products, Koelewijn’s Haringinleggerij BV is an outstanding choice. For more than 80 years, the Dutch company has supplied saltwater fish, shellfish, and mussels to retailers, restaurants, and wholesalers worldwide. In this context, quality is the company’s top priority. And since the beginning of this year, Koelewijn has relied on production systems from Schröter.
THE BEST OF THE SEA
It all began with Dirk Koelewijn, who fi shed in the Zuiderzee until he founded his company Koelewijn’s Haringinleggerij in 1931. Thanks to a conservation method he invented, his herring maintained its high quality over a long shelf life – the foundation for an entrepreneurial success story. Other varieties of fi sh were added to the product range when the second generation joined the family business, and the company has purchased fi sh directly from fi shermen since the 1970s.
Today the company headquartered in the Dutch village of Spakenburg (in the province of Utrecht) has 120 employees and offers its customers an extremely wide range of products. This still includes herring, of course, but also salmon and plaice fillets as well as pangasius, tilapia, and Alaskan pollack. The company also offers smoked mackerel fillets in various flavors, breaded shrimp, as well as cod and salmon burgers. Its convenience products include traditional Dutch seafood dishes such as baked fish, fish sticks, and deep fried battered fish. This is made by cutting fish fillets into bite-sized pieces, covering them with batter, and frying them. Last but not least, Koelewijn offers gourmet fish platters with different types of ready-to-eat fish and shellfish.
Back in 2015, Koelewijn was planning the construction of new production facility with a total fl oor space of 3,000 square meters. During their search for a reliable supplier of production technology, they discovered the equipment manufacturer from East Westphalia. “We had received many recommendations and positive feedback from other Dutch companies that had already installed FISHjets from Schröter,” says CEO Frans ter Haar. After intensive planning, Schröter was able to begin assembly in October 2017 and bring the systems into operation as soon as March 2018. Production then offi cially began in May 2018.
“First we adapted the size of the systems to the customer’s specific requirements,” explains Dietrich Schröter. “The eight-wagon system is primarily used for whole mackerel, the single-row systems for delicate cold-smoked products lying on up to 30 trays.” With these seafood products, designing the automatic cleaning system was a major challenge. It had to be adapted by the experts so that both the resin and the fats that seep out when smoking fish could be removed without leaving any residue. The solution was to equip the systems with a complete interior cleaning system that can be adapted perfectly to the requirements thanks to automatic valves that can be activated individually. “The biggest advantage of Schröter systems is the uniformity of our smoked products. We achieve this through individually adjustable air circulation speeds, even with very dense load weights,” says Mr. ter Haar, fully satisfied with the innovative technology. Since production is now not only much more uniform but also more efficient, the company was able to significantly increase production volume compared to the output of the systems in the old facility. “But Schröter not only impressed us with its innovative technology, but also with the way the entire project was handled, installed, and brought into operation – as well as with its comprehensive service,” says Mr. ter Haar, summing up the companies’ first joint project.
What once began on a small scale with Koelewijn’s Haringinleggerij has since grown into a globally active and well-known company. Today, its activities include the procurement, production, packaging, and distribution of various types of fish and seafood. Seven Seas Int. now has a fish smokehouse; fish filleting, herring cleaning, and herring filleting operations; a bakery; a refrigerated warehouse; and a “high-care” department for retailers, restaurants, and wholesalers. Despite this growth, one thing has remained the same – Koelewijn’s Haringinleggerij is continuing down the same path with a focus on quality, sustainability, and innovation. The company is committed to ensuring that its seafood is caught, processed, and sold responsibly. After all, upcoming generations should also be able to enjoy the numerous species of fish and seafood that the seas and oceans have to offer today (see Info Box). And Koelewijn wants to make sure that in the future, they land on people’s plates in high quality as well.
Today, more than one billion people use fish as their primary source of protein. Over the last 50 years, the amount of fish caught worldwide has increased fivefold. And this is not without consequences – a quarter of fish stocks are already depleted or overfished and half of the world’s fish stocks are threatened by overfishing. With its philosophy of quality and sustainability, Koelewijn’s Haringinleggerij BV strives to maintain healthy fish stocks and be a responsible steward of nature. This is why the company works exclusively with suppliers that are MSC-, GLOBALG.A.P.-, or ASC-certified. As a result, the international supplier of sea fish, shellfish, and mussels helps maintain safe and healthy fish stocks. Despite the fact that quality therefore begins with the supplier of the primary material, Koelewijn still extends this focus to its own production facilities, which are BRC-A-certified. During the production process, care is taken to ensure that all of its products are produced to the highest standards of quality. And Schröter’s production systems now play a major role in achieving this goal: