Dutch wholesaler, Van der Lem, has been in business since 1948. They package and distribute wholesale fruit and vegetables, as per their clients' wishes. "We do what our clients ask of us," says Mike Tesselaar. He does the purchasing and sales at this company. "Market demand has changed. Clients want innovative, sustainable packaging. That is why we choose the Sleever from JASA.”
Things were different in the past. Van der Lem is a traditional, family business. They specialize in ripening bananas. They also package and transport fruit and vegetables. Three generations ago, this company supplied people who sold these products from their homes or small greengrocers. Van der Lem slowly expanded, as did their client base. "Now our clients are mainly supermarkets. But we do still supply traditional greengrocers and restaurants.”
It is not just their client base that changed in the course of the years. Market demand has also changed. Up to a few years ago, plastic packaging was the norm. However, nowadays things are different. "Our clients are looking for alternatives to the huge amount of plastic used in packaging. That is why we are looking for new ideas in this area," explains Mike.
The market has been demanding a change for a while now. Plastic-free packaging in the biggest trend. "Many of the products we package are still traditionally packaged. There is are no alternative available. For example, oranges are put in net bags. It is not easy to think of a different solution for this. Van der Lem is a service provider. But, the service must be available to provide."
Van der Lem went in search of new packaging possibilities for its main product, apples. Right away, JASA came knocking with a new idea - the Sleever. This type of packaging is an all-round solution for all kinds of trays. JASA approached us at exactly the right time," says Tesselaar.
"There was demand from the market for a different way to pack apples. We consider the Sleever to be the perfect solution. The sleeves we do now is really innovative compared to how we package other products. It is a nice step forward."
Partnership with JASA
This is not the first time Van der Lem has joined forces with JASA. “JASA and Van der Lem have been in the same market for years. We have known, and have work with, each other for a long time. We have had a JASA citrus line since 2017. We are pleased with it."
Why did Van der Lem choose to work with JASA? “We have a good partnership with JASA. We can connect quickly with them to provide a service. They are also service-orientated. We choose JASA because we know how the company works," the buyer says.
Bit the bullet
The Sleever is running, and the packed apples are lying on the supermarket shelves. The process took six months in total, as planned. "The process went well. As always with new products, you have to deal with teething problems in the start-up phase."
"In our case, the challenge was that apples are a natural product. So, they were not always all the same size. You have to think carefully about how you can make up for all these differences, down to the millimeter. All these various sizes mean different kinds of sleeves and different types of trays," Mike concludes.
The machine is running well, However, according to JASA, it can always run better. "We are going to optimize the machine soon. It will have new functionalities, which will make it even more user-friendly," says a JASA spokesperson.
And then on to the next idea? "No, the Sleever is something really innovative. That makes it good enough. For now, we can forge ahead."
Source: JASA Packaging Solutions