Foodmate | InsideTrack Jan 2018 - IPPE - Page 6

A SPECTACULAR JOURNEY | JACK HAZENBROEK, AN INDUSTRY PIONEER MR. JACK HAZENBROEK, THE INSPIRATION TO HIS SONS, THE FOUNDERS OF FOODMATE HELLO JACK, LET’S START WITH THE GENERAL QUESTION…HOW ARE YOU DOING? YOU ARE ONE OF THE PIONEERS IN THE INDUSTRY, CAN YOU TELL MORE ABOUT THE EARLIER DAYS? I am doing fine. I feel healthy and I am very mo- tivated in the exciting times we are currently in. Yes, it is right that I was one of the pioneers of automation in the poultry in- dustry. Together with some of my old competing colleagues and, of course, our customers we built a nice industry and changed poultry processing. Looking back to the end sixties and the beginning of the seventies the in- dustry changed a lot. I can say without hesitation that we (my colleagues and I) have contributed to that. Always keeping an eye on innovation and trying new things that changed the future. And I still believe in that for the future. One of the quotes I use a lot “ Many things are not here, because no one tried it yet”. YOU ARE AT THE AGE OF 75 YEARS OLD, WHAT IS YOUR SECRET TO BEING SO STRONG AND HEALTHY AT THIS AGE? First of all, a balanced lifestyle is essential. But I believe that keeping up with young people and keeping busy is the most important ingredient of feeling young. I am in a fortunate position to do things I like, and that I am around people who are ambitious and willing to go the extra mile. CAN YOU TELL US HOW YOU GREW INTO THE POULTRY INDUSTRY? At a young age I got involved in the poultry industry. My parents had a small sized slaughterhouse and in the daily fresh markets we would sell chickens. Those were difficult times and the entire family was working hard to make a living. In those days, everything was done manually and maybe that shaped my ideas to automate poultry processing and make work easier. After immi- grating first to Australia and then to the United States (what I wanted since a little boy) and working in poultry processing plants, I got involved with the equipment business. First as a dealer of equipment for an American company and later by starting to produce my own equipment. CAN YOU TELL MORE ABOUT WANTING TO GO THE AMERICA? Yes, as a young child I already knew I wanted to go to America. In those days, the perception of traveling and going somewhere was quite different than today. There was something that fascinated me about America. Looking back, I can say it was a good decision. I found my wife in America and it gave me many things and a lot of success in life. Today I still like to be in America - There is something that gives me good vibes and energy. In the early days the line speeds were totally different and the way chicken was sold, was also totally different. A 3,000 bph processing line was some- thing spectacular in those days and only a few chickens went to cut-up. Quickly, the market started changing as demand for poultry meat grew and the consumer and retail markets started selling chicken parts such as wings, breast meat and leg parts. Another change was the growing fast food indus- try. NOWADAYS THE MAIN SUPPLIERS OF EQUIPMENT FOR THE POULTRY INDUSTRY HAVE DUTCH ROOTS. WHAT CAN YOU SAY ABOUT THIS? I agree. The market is dominated by a couple of suppliers with mainly Dutch roots. However, I disagree to say that automation started in the Netherlands. In the early days, there were a couple of American companies that were ac- tive in this industry. Most of them are not around anymore. Looking back at even some of today’s technology, some of them were originally founded in the United States a long time ago. Also looking back at patents you can find interesting innovations. However, the Dutch, including myself, also became active in this industry because of the fact, that in the seventies we already had difficulties with labor - which drove us to advance automation. The Dutch international trading genes are also of influence. It is nice to see that a small country took a leading position in this industry. YOUR SONS ARE RUNNING FOODMATE, WHAT DO YOU FORESEE AS THEIR BIGGEST CHALLENGE? You see, they are active in a great and unique industry. An industry that still is growing around the world and the level of automation is getting higher and more complex. If the company stays innovative and service minded I foresee a great future for them. The biggest challenge for them will be, as in many sectors, good skilled employees that are fully dedicated. That, I think, is the biggest chal- lenge that companies in the technical sector are facing nowadays. To get and keep your employees, you need to provide them very good working conditions and not just only a salary. It is becoming so important to motivate them and provide them a very nice working environment. Another thing that is increasingly important are the methods around construct- ing a machine -The safety regulations, all the documentation and all the bu- reaucracy is not making it easier to run a company. AS WE SPEAK, THE NEW FOODMATE HQ IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. WHAT IS YOUR ROLE IN THIS? (Little laugh)... Well people who know me well enough, know that I love con- structing and building. This is a part of my life. I love these kinds of things and I can say that I learned quite a bit about it over the years. For the new building, I like doing a lot of stuff in the background. I do it with passion and love. My son David knows this and is happy to let me do it, as he is always busy traveling for the company. What I worry about is what’s next once construction is completed…. JACK, WE CAN TALK FOR HOURS AND THERE ARE MANY THINGS YOU CAN SPEAK OF, BUT IS THERE ONE THING YOU WANT TO SAY OR HIGHLIGHT? Again, I want to highlight that we are operating in a great worldwide industry and in this industry I have met many very nice people that all share a passion and dedication for this industry. I am very thankful for that and I feel blessed to be a part of this. As mentioned before my sons are heading to a great future as long as they keep some key values alive and stay innovative at all times. And last, but not least, I didn’t accomplish this all by myself. I had a family that always supported me and I had great people around me - working for me. I am proud of what both my sons achieved. My son David is taking care of the Netherlands operation and is responsible for the worldwide market and my son, Scott, for the great company and organization he has built in the United States. Keep on going!! Mr. Jack Hazenbroek being presented with the VIV Meat Personality Award 2014. Jack Hazenbroek was the recipient of the VIV Meat Personality Award 2014. Jack Hazenbroek, was the creator of the poultry processing systems company, Systemate Holland. He remembers as a five-year-old boy, helping his father take chickens to the market. Later, he worked in processing plants and on farms in Australia and the US before returning to Holland to start his own machinery company. PAGE 6 “ For me, the attraction of the poultry business has always been the people involved in it. Even as the business evolves, the people in it are still the best part.” - Jack Hazenbroek PAGE 7