When you drive into the Dutch business park, Fresh Park Venlo, you cannot miss Staay-Van Rijn's new building. This commercial building was taken into use on 1 July. This fulfilled a long-sought-after goal. "Langfruit and Staay amalgamated in 2013. We thought then already that we would soon be full. This was also quickly the case", says Company Director, Ron de Greeff. The new building takes up 12,000m2 on a 25,000m2 plot of land. This is almost twice the size of the previous location. It also offers room for further growth.
The Cash & Carry trading section with four tills
"In the previous building, you would see the warehouse fill up as the day progressed. The order pickers' faces would become more and more sombre. This was also the case with the drivers who had to wait for docks to clear. Now, with 26 loading docks, we no longer have that problem. A number of delays meant we could only move into the new building on 1 July. As this is peak season, it was not ideal. We, however, decided to move and now everyone is very happy", laughs Ron. The company also looked into the possibility of moving out of the business park. However, when this plot became available, the decision was quickly made to stay.
Sustainability was all-important when it came to this building's construction. A chemical-free cooling system that works with CO2 was chosen. There are also no gas connections in the building. All residual cold and heat from the cooling system are reused in the building's 1,500m2 office space. So, in the summer the system helps to cool the area down. In the winter, the residual heat warms it up. The building's huge roof is also set up for the installation of solar panels. These will be placed in consultation with the landlord. LED lighting has also been used everywhere.
The Staay Food Group has now gained the experience needed to construct new buildings. In recent years, new premises were built in the Dutch towns of Papendrecht and Dronten. These were for Staay-Hispa and Fresh Care Convenience, respectively. "But we had our own requirements since we supply very different products and clients. We wanted to keep the Cash & Carry trading section separate from the rest of the building. The Cash & Carry is now divided into three climate zones with glass partitions. The new building has a much larger cooling capacity with two order picking rooms. It also has four large double-sized cooling cells. These are mostly used for storing the Staay Food Group's overseas imported programme goods", explains Ron.
The special cooling section
The external loading docks
"We have a nice mix of clients. I think we can say we are the most complete Cash & Carry wholesalers in the Netherlands. From specialities to high volume products - our clients can come and do their 'daily shopping' here", says Ron. The Cash & Carry section represents 12% of Staay-Van Rijn's turnover. Retail sales make up 28% of the revenue. The majority of their sales (60%) is realised in the food service industry and with European wholesalers. Here, Germany is, by far, the company's most important market.
Ron in front of the building
Buyers from the food service industry can get a comprehensive range of fruit and vegetables at Staay. There are in the region of 600 different items available on a daily basis. The assortment ranges from 40 varieties of tomatoes, bell peppers in all colours and shapes, and cucumbers of various sizes. There are also open field vegetables like asparagus, iceberg lettuce, and leeks. There are soft fruits, mushrooms, and wild mushrooms. Staay-Van Rijn also offers their buyers an extensive variety of exotic and speciality cresses and different kinds of lettuce.
The personnel are well-looked after
The company is also building on their good overseas programmes with the Staay Food Group. Here, citrus, pineapples, melons, stone fruit, grapes, apples, and pears are provided year-round. "Thanks to this total package, we can perfectly fill our clients' orders. We can do this until about 15:00 when the last backorders are in. These orders are delivered overnight. They go all over Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, and the Baltic States. Larger volumes of our main products are delivered to retailers in Germany, France, and the Netherlands. These volumes are based on programmes. Thanks to this new building, there is also more room to expand further," concludes Ron.