Company builds on strong reputation

Company builds on strong reputation
Van Dyck Fine Foods won the Large Business category 2019 TSB Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

At Van Dyck Fine Foods, established in New Zealand back in 1999 by Belgian immigrants Inge Vercammen and Marcel Naenen, the hard-work and enterprise by all involved has led to a bright future with massive growth in volumes and markets.
Today, CEO Natalie Innes says everyone of the 38 staff employed across the factory, R & D, sales and marketing, human resourcing, finance and administration, are very proud of what has been achieved.
Natalie works closely with a senior leadership team who have collectively steered the company through a new and exciting phase of structural change and product diversification.
“We are extremely busy working out of our office and production factory ‘Marcel’s’ in Corbett Road, Bell Block. To keep up with demand our factory basically operates five days a week with factory hours extending from 4am – 11pm,” says Natalie.
The factory produces a range of pancakes, sweet crepes and savoury mini pancakes and is continually looking to expand its offering.The fully automated plant is set up to cope with increases in production and Natalie says 2020 has got off to a fantastically positive start.
“We had large volumes to produce over the festive season and the team working in the factory worked exceptionally hard to meet demand. “We’re fortunate that as a result of working for us every individual can evolve their own skill sets and there’s a real sense of pride in what we have collectively achieved.”
And that capability has been recognised with a prestigious award at the 2019 TSB Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards, where Van Dyck Fine Foods took out line honours in the Large Business category, something Natalie feels proud of given what the company has achieved in growth and development in recent years.
The awards process involved comprehensive panel discussions with the interviewing team. The site visit also provided valuable feedback and in-sight from business leaders who made up the panel as to areas for management to focus further on.
“I’ve been with the company in this role for two years and, along with the senior management team, we have set about managing change and have developed a comprehensive five year strategy which we are exceeding in terms of goals each year.”Pivotal to its success has been a strong working relationship with NZTE (New Zealand Trade & Enterprise).
Natalie says the government agency has incredible resources to offer businesses striving to excel.“Once we established a connection with NZTE we seized the opportunities, including funding sources, this offered. This association has certainly been crucial to our success to date.”
Natalie ’s current focus is to ensure the factory, its people and manufacturing processes remain capable of coping with even larger volumes in the future. She says the company’s recently success-fully passed a second audit by BRC (British Retail Consortium), an organisation that is internationally recognised in terms of food production best practice and audit standards.
“We have a AA rating with BRC and for our customers both here and our overseas markets this proves our capability in terms of all our systems, standards and quality through every part of our manufacturing process.”
With such a positive future ahead, with markets firmly established in NZ, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and the Pacific, another important challenge will be in continuing to attract the right people to work in the company.
“It is about continuous improvement and that starts with the people we employ. “Our machinery is quite technical and a lot of the roles have a technical requirement so in the process of working for us staff gain valuable skill-sets.
“That is very much part of our culture, to help grow our team in terms of skills.” Natalie says that the company’s culture of caring about what it produces and the people who produce it makes for a positive working environment all round.
“You know we all work hard, but we also make sure we make room for a bit of fun in the mix,” she says.“That’s one of the reasons we can produce the volumes and the consistently high standards that our customers have come to trust.”
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