In the Netherlands, there was a changing of the guard at LETS this summer. As of July 1st, Guustaaf Hoekstra and Bartelt Leeffers took over the management tasks from Johan and Hilda Leeffers. Guustaaf is the commercial director. He has been working for this company for more that 25 years. It is a specialist in food industry cleaning technology. Here, Guustaaf discusses this latest development.
Label removing very topical LETS turns 40 this year. Asked about the company's biggest revolutions in the world of cleaning, Guustaaf answers: "We were the first player in cleaning technology."
"We worked on heat recovery from cooling, compressed air, and packaging machines. We combined our cleaning unit with hot water. That combined unit was an important development."
"Stackers and destackers was another great development. That allowed us to offer a fully automated line. The crate washer is central to that. Currently, label removing is especially topical, and there's high pressure," Guustaaf adds.
Guustaaf at the recently-held Empack
In the fruit and vegetable sector, LETS works mainly with processors. "That's where our true core business is. But we're making inroads into the other fruit and vegetable sectors too. The ToBRFV virus broke out in tomato cultivation. We saw our chance to provide solutions for these growers. After such an outbreak, the importance of some things becomes clear. You must control those in the greenhouse better. Both in a general and hygiene sense. Our hygiene lock with control gate is well-suited to that."
Remote service "Most of our clients are in the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium. But we have projects all over the world too. Our biggest challenge is going to be that the market we're in is shrinking. That's in terms of the number of companies. So, we're going to have to look further afield to achieve the same turnover. That, however, greatly affects your service," Guustaaf admits.
"From where we are, we're only 200km away from anywhere in the Netherlands. Should we want to deliver our upgraded products further abroad, remote call-outs and monitoring are the way to go. Germany is a growing convenience market and, therefore, has much potential. I'm not ruling out opening a division there one day."
LETS is celebrating its 40th anniversary with flair. It is visiting companies to demonstrate its innovative crate washer. These businesses can book a free, no-obligation demo. "We'll bring a trailer with a machine that has all the modern bells and whistles. That harks back to a bygone era. Forty years ago, the company's founder, Johan, used to visit clients too. Then he mounted his machines on a horse trailer. That brings us full circle," laughs Guustaaf.
Self-sufficient "This model includes a lot of technology. For example, it has a unique display, making it ideal for non-Dutch speakers. It has an extra pump unit for heavily soiled crates too. That uses standard pressure, but also 40 bar or an even higher 140 bar. We bring water, soap, and an aggregate. So, we're self-sufficient. That way, we can show each company what the best, proper crate-cleaning solution is for them.
"The type of products being processed significantly affects the cleaning method. For instance, bell pepper and tomato seed contamination require a higher pressure than that from lettuce. You can praise a machine as much as you want. But now people see how it works in practice. Nowadays, anyone can provide a machine. We want to provide solutions. We'd rather give customers clean crates than a crate washing machine," Guustaaf concludes.
You can book a demonstration via firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information: Guustaaf Hoekstra LETS bv 33 Bedrijfsweg 8251 KK, Dronten, NL Tel: +31 (0) 321 386 600 Email: G.Hoekstra@letsbv.nl Website: www.letsbv.nl
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