Johan Leeffers started his cleaning company LETS, 40 years ago. Back then, he focused mainly on using high-pressure pumps in the Dutch agricultural sector. Since then, the company has grown into one of the larger cleaning technology players in the food industry sector. It doesn't only cater to fruit and vegetable processors.
Growers and breeders are a new market for the hygiene specialist. "Viral pressure is increasing. We can play an important role in keeping bacteria and viruses at bay. That's with not only our hygiene solutions in the area of disinfection. But with washbasins and brush strips too," says account manager Gerco Dijkgraaf.
The COVID-19 measures didn't require too many changes at fruit and vegetable processing plants. That's according to Gerco. "The food sector's hygiene standards are extremely high. So it hasn't affected production too much. The office staff had to buy disinfectors, scanners, and thermometers. But it's had less of an impact on the segment we're in. We offer a total cleaning and hygiene package. That relieves customers of all their disinfection worries. That includes crate washing systems. But also compressed air systems and hot water supplies."
This unburdening is one of LETS' crucial focal points. "It's easy to sell a pump. Our service, however, goes so much further. We really talk to our clients. We want to know what problems they encounter. And what they need, cleaning-wise. We do job preparation and have a design office. So, we design the machines ourselves."
"We build these machines, like crate washing systems, ourselves too. They're all tailored to our customers' needs and specifications. We can, therefore, offer a guaranteed cleaning result, in line with the product to be sterilized. This gets products clean, something that's sometimes impossible for others," explains Gerco.
This industrial sanitation systems supplier has recently been providing lines to various companies. These include Plukon (previously Fresh Care Convenience, Fruity Line, and VS Apple.
"Originally, we were mainly active in the Netherlands. But in recent years, we've expanded to Belgium and Germany. We have some English customers too. But we don't want to go any further than that."
"That's because we're in a sector that demands fast service and installation," Dijkgraaf continues. "We also have several service vans all over the Netherlands. They can be on the spot quickly in case of possible breakdowns. Cleaning must be able to continue at all times."
LETS is less active in the horticulture market. However, it does have the expertise for that. "The ToBRF virus has hit tomato cultivation. This, and other things, has put safety and hygiene very high on the horticulture agenda. Some horticulture companies only have wet mats at their greenhouse entrances. We have expertise in the food sector. That's with, for example, hygiene locks and disinfection. So, we can offer growers a lot. After all, it's best to keep viruses outside your doors," concludes Gerco.