"I'm not looking for a supplier, I'm looking for a partner with the same vision."
Pieter Smits is the owner of 'Bron van Energie' ('energy source' in Dutch), an unusual name for a poultry company. But he has a good explanation: "From eggs you get energy. And our manure is energy for plants. But the name makes sense because of the biomass power station I built. Using waste wood from the area, it produces steam, electricity and heat. So it is a source of energy."
How has your business developed?
"I grew up on a broiler and breeder farm, so I am familiar with it since childhood. I started my own breeder farm 25 years ago and expanded it abroad. In 2004 I switched to layers, so in 2006 I converted the breeder farm to a farm with rearing pullets, because I wanted to close the chain and go for vertical integration."
"In 2007 I bought three companies in Germany. At the moment we sell our production ourselves, which is unique. In 2018 I sold the German companies again, I had then decided not to grow quantitatively but qualitatively, by providing added value."
"For example, I wanted to minimise the impact on the environment, including with the construction of the biomass plant. In 2015, I started developing a manure processing system with 0 emissions: no ammonia, no fine dust and the manure product is converted into pellets with only water as a waste product."
Why did you choose Vencomatic Group?
"In recent years, I have been adapting our houses to our own ideas for sustainable poultry farming; we want to keep animal welfare, environment and food safety in balance. This includes a new system to keep the laying hens, but I don't care which system it is, as long as our partner is the right one."
"I dare to say we are progressive, the partners I talk to should be too. That's why I chose Vencomatic Group, they also think ahead with their vision and innovations. They also dare to invest in new developments. I think that's important, I see Vencomatic Group as a partner and not as a supplier."
What system did you choose?
"We had the Bolegg Terrace built in two houses, the first layers have not been on it for long however. I already knew the Bolegg Terrace from other poultry farmers, the system has proven its worth over the past 15 years. The supervision of the construction was good, the sales process was pleasant and the relationship with the Supervisor was great. It went fast too, within five weeks we were ready."
"Of course not everything went smoothly, but Frank Bakermans, our Account Manager at Vencomatic Group, does his best to solve all problems. That's how you get to know each other. As long as we can celebrate, we are in agreement, but what if that bucket of beer is empty? Who comes into action? I think that is important."