Meppel is home to Ton Aarnink’s charcuterie factory. With expertise, a strong team and high-quality machinery, this butcher pur sang can make practically anything.
As many as 50 years Ton Aarnink has been working in the butcher’s trade. At 15, he started working as a butcher’s boy; a few years later, he started his own butcher’s shop. When he no longer saw bread in that after 20 years or so, he switched to sausage and charcuterie production. Ton Aarnink: “I started in Deventer producing meat products in a small building. The company grew rapidly. In 2007, we had just added a piece to the new building built in 2000, when the Dengerink company came along. Whether I was interested in taking over the company. As I had just invested heavily, I was not. Out of sheer curiosity, I went to have a look anyway. A takeover was the result,” he laughs.When he no longer saw bread in that after 20 years or so, he switched to sausage and charcuterie production.When he no longer saw bread in that after 20 years or so, he switched to sausage and charcuterie production.When he no longer saw bread in that after 20 years or so, he switched to sausage and charcuterie production.When he no longer saw bread in that after 20 years or so, he switched to sausage and charcuterie production.
Listening to the customer
Aarnink produces a wide variety of sausage and meat products for the upper market segment, focusing mainly on the foodservice and retail sectors. From ham to chipolata sausage, and chicken to various types of bacon. With his butchery background, Ton can mean a lot to customers in producing good products. “We do not compete on price,” he states. “Making good and honest products is what we are all about. That is why we produce meat products with the Beter Leven quality mark and maintain high quality standards that are also continuously adjusted. For instance, our meat contains less salt, E-numbers and artificial additives. We also produce gluten- and allergen-free.”
24-hour cutting and packaging
The butchers prepare sausage and meat products using traditional methods in the butchery, sausage-making and cookery. Some are immediately vacuumed and delivered in bulk after preparation, while the rest are cut. In Deventer, Aarnink started with one small slicer for that single customer who wanted something sliced. They now work with five cutting lines, some of which operate 24 hours a day. “We supply small packs, with one, two or three slices, to kilo packs and everything in between. Reliable and fast machines are therefore vital to our business.”
‘For us, machine reliability is number one’
Service from Sismatec
“Over the past few years, we got more and more new customers and our business has grown quite a bit,” Ton explains. “As a result, our machinery park also needed to be expanded. Operations director, Aran Slooff looked into which supplier best meets our requirements and wishes. For us, machine reliability is number one. And after-sales service has to be perfect too. We cannot afford to have a machine break down and a mechanic is only available at the end of the week to solve it. The choice fell on Sismatec; a reliable organisation with its own technical service, and solid brands.”
Mechanic around the corner
“Mechanics are spread all over the country and one even lives around the corner here. Their technical knowledge is well up to date and parts are always in stock,” Aran knows. “We work with a cutting machine from Treif and tray sealers from Proseal. During the purchase process, the machines were already installed here so that we could test them without obligation. That was very valuable. We then immediately noticed that the machines are fast and the final product looks neat. The Proseals come with different molds that you can easily and quickly change. With our wide variety of packaging sizes, that works very nicely. Both machines are also easy to operate. This is necessary because both highly and unskilled personnel work here. Sismatec gives sound advice and understands very well what is important to us. The contact is personal and based on trust. When you are investing serious amounts of money, that is very pleasant.”
Looking to the future
Aarnink Vleeswaren’s range of products is wide. “Actually a little too broad,” Ton concludes, “but I have a hard time selling no. The strength of our company is that we listen carefully to what the customer wants. The other day, for example, a customer came in wanting a ham with arugula. Then we make samples until we have the perfect ham. As soon as someone has a special wish, a new product is often born.”
‘We work with five cutting lines that are sometimes in operation 24 hours a day’