What once began with 32 potato farmers around a kitchen table has now, half a century later, become a global organisation.
Established in 1962, 'Aardappel Verwerkende Industrie Keppel en Omstreken' (AVIKO) turned out to be a no-nonsense yet ambitious company with one clear goal: to create value from potatoes.
It all started in the old dairy factory in the Dutch village of Hoog Keppel, where the initial activities of manufacturing chilled fries in wooden crates were soon followed by the first frozen products.
In 1967, production relocated to the nearby village of Steenderen, where an old brickworks offered Aviko more room to achieve its ambitions. Aviko kept a keen eye on what was happening beyond the country's borders, in particular when it came to developing new potato products, which resulted in Aviko becoming the first producer of rösti outside of Switzerland in the 1970s. This marked the start of several decades of success in which Aviko was able to secure a strong position in Europe, especially in France and Germany. Soon after the Iron Curtain fell, Aviko became market leader in Eastern Europe, not least thanks to building a factory in Poland. In the 1990s, the company ventured beyond Europe for the first time and began to gain a foothold on other continents. From that point on, Aviko became a global player that saw its high-quality potato products being enjoyed in a growing number of countries around the world. And while we look back on that development with pride, we've also stayed grounded - after all, in our hearts we're still just unassuming potato farmers from the village of Keppel.
In the current century, it is primarily about added value, a term that is perfectly aligned with our core value. Aviko entered into a collaboration with Eurofrits which introduced appetizers as a welcome addition to our product range. With the acquisition of the Belgian company Eurofreez, the Aviko range was once again extended considerably with mashed potatoes and gratins. The market was changing, and Aviko decided to reduce its number of brands in order to better focus on successfully selling high-quality potato products to customers in what had since become over 100 countries.
Meanwhile, Aviko has continued to invest in new, surprising and tasty products that are tailored to the wishes of professionals such as yourself and your customers. From chilled or frozen fries to potato specialities and appetizers - with the help of you and your colleagues, we are able to keep pace with developments in the foodservice sector. It is this interaction and exchange of ideas that ensures that you gain maximum return on your investment and that we can continue to develop and evolve in order to remain a company you can rely on, now and in the future.
In addition, Corporate Social Responsibility is playing an ever greater role. Aviko is moving with the times: our products meet the highest technical, environmental and social demands. Sustainable raw materials, the use of sustainable sunflower oil and an ambitious programme of measures to reduce our energy consumption and carbon footprint are having a growing impact on our day-to-day activities.
In the years ahead, Aviko will strive to remain one of the four largest potato processors in the world and the leading company of its kind in Europe - with fries continuing to be the focus, yet with sufficient scope for other innovative and inspiring potato products.
Our knowledge of the market is the key to us achieving this aim, and for that our contact with you is, and will always be, crucial. The goal we set ourselves back in 1962 has remained firmly intact: 'To create value from potatoes'.
As we move into 2013 we embark on our next half century there will doubtless be as many challenges as opportunities, However, as we look to build on our expertise and experience from the past 50 years we look forward o the next 50 and to further innovations as we look to deliver the very best products to our valued customers in the years to come.
2012 saw us celebrate an amazing 50 years in the business, a huge milestone marking half a century of innovation and endeavour. The company has been transformed since 1962 from a small co-operative of 32 farmers, growing to become a European leader and one of the four largest potato processors in the world.