The Belgian Mydibel was founded in 1988 by Roger Mylle. Up to this point, this consummate entrepreneur had only been a supplier to french fries factories. However, on establishing Mydibel he made his dream of producing a processed potato product himself come true. He started small with one simple production line for fries, but since then the business has taken off dramatically. A little over thirty years later, it has grown to become a company with a workforce of more than 650 employees and one that supplies high quality potato products on a global scale, in dry, fresh and frozen ranges.
The continued growth of this Moeskroen (Belgium) based company is partly due to always having delivered high quality products right from the start, but also through continuous innovation. “It was quite a bold step taken by my father at the time,” explains Managing Director Carlo Mylle. “As a potato trader he owned a well organised small business. However he took the risk and sold everything, putting all his money and energy into Mydibel and we are proud to continue to build on this success story today.” Not only Carlo, but also his older brother Bruno and several other family members are active in the family business. “But it goes beyond that, the company is one big family,” adds Dany Bossuyt, Project Engineer Mechanical and Processing. “I have been working here since 1992 and I am not a member of the Mylle family, but it still feels like my company.”
Investing in quality pays for itself
Mydibel is a prime example of a top-class family business; one that is not directly aimed at making a quick profit, but one in which people dare to invest in the long term. “That’s what I call a healthy basis for a good future,” claims Carlo Mylle. “We invest in our workers, in business relations and in new technology, all of which help us to stay ahead of the competition. Food safety requirements have been tightened up over the years and this will only continue. We are prepared for this by means of the incorporation of state-of-the-art production lines. The reason we switched to FoodeQ was to ensure optimally run production lines.”
It all started 10 years ago with a length grader, but now many other machines types have followed
“The first machine we bought from FoodeQ, in 2009, was a length grader. This was a machine which met all our expectations. As a result, we have approached FoodeQ for a number of machines – from span sieve shakers to spiral freezers and the innovative PackYard. In the end, it comes down to the fact that if we have an idea regarding a possible improvement, or a technical problem, our first port of call is always FoodeQ.” Dany Bossuyt agrees with Carlo: “As engineers, we like to talk to fellow technicians. The engineers of FoodeQ are excellent listeners and then they translate our wishes into solutions that suit us best.”
Being proud, passionate and bold enough to build something worthwhile
A few years ago, Mydibel was interested in a multi-head scale feed. Following a brainstorm session, the two teams came up with the ingenious PackYard. “FoodeQ understands the art of thinking out-of-the-box and creating something together with us as a customer. They’re always well-prepared and what they deliver always fits like a glove, so you’ll never be faced with big surprises during installation,” adds Dany with enthusiastic praise. Jaco van der Jagt: “Mydibel dares to be an industry trailblazer. They are trendsetters, as was the case with the PackYard, and that can only be achieved if you have mutual trust in each other’s abilities.”
The PackYard, five large fully automatic dishwashers in one stainless steel compartment
Before the unique PackYard saw the light of day, the different product flows ran from Mydibel to one and the same packaging line. For reasons of hygiene, this had to be thoroughly cleansed before another product could be used on the line. “That slowed us down, as the packaging line needed to be shut down during every cleansing operation, which meant we sometimes had to shut down production as well.” The PackYard has five separate weighing chambers that can be individually re-stocked and cleaned (pasteurised) at a high temperature, while the packaging process continues in the other chambers.
Carlo Mylle: “We sometimes refer to five dishwashers in a large hygienic stainless steel casing, but it’s so much more than that. It has box tilting and weighing systems etc. All in one. This option allows us to be very flexible and pack in line with market demand. In addition, the design of the system makes it more hygienic, not only because it has been enhanced by FoodeQ down to the smallest details. For example, it has rounded corners so that no dirt can be left behind. FoodeQ is a sparring partner when it comes to devising and developing new ideas, but also when it comes to service. They’re always there for us. They employ excellent engineers and in terms of project management they continue to excel. Two years ago, we had no less than seven projects on the go here at one and the same time, however FoodeQ proved to have the expertise to manage all these projects simultaneously.”
Thinking green, being green, staying green, a circular economy is our future
“We process natural products, and as such, the environment is very important to us. Zero waste is our goal. We really utilise all elements of the potato. For years, the peel went to farms for animal feed, nowadays we ferment it and convert the biogas into electricity, so that we now almost entirely meet our own energy needs. The residue from the fermentation process goes back to the farmers who use it as an organic fertilizer for the land and so it feeds the new potato harvest.”
We remain true to our ideals and sustainability is just one of them
“We are loyal to ideals and loyal to suppliers. If you perform as well as FoodeQ, then we won’t suddenly choose to go to another supplier. However, there is no such thing as a free lunch. FoodeQ delivers the top quality we require and at a fair price. I have a huge respect for the quality of their craftmanship and furthermore they also have a team of engineers with whom we enjoy working with. FoodeQ continues to grow, and the people who have recently joined the company are all great too and that is a huge compliment. Hats off to FoodeQ!”