Piet Pannekeet officially bid 'adieu' to JASA Packaging Solutions three years ago. But last week, that was celebrated with a festive farewell. The pandemic delayed this occasion somewhat. Much has since happened, and this Dutch engineering firm launched a new platform for a new generation of packaging machines in the same week. Global customers came to the Netherlands during this demo week to see the NXXT modular platform with their own eyes.
Piet and his wife Lieneke with their children Joost and Sandra and their children. Joost and Sandra established a Jasa branch in North America, where they have lived and worked for five years.
For Piet, it all began in 1985 when he founded Pannekeet Machine Techniek (PMT). As PMT started expanding internationally, Piet changed the name to JASA in 2005, which his many overseas clients found easier to pronounce. JASA is a family business, and its name reflects that. That is derived from Piet's children's names, Jarno and Sandra. Many people are, however, unaware that the first vertical packer Piet built was dubbed 'JASA.' Distributors were, thus, already calling the company by that name.
Directors Eduard de Haan and Hendrik van den Berg.
After putting his heart and soul into the business for 36 years, Piet retired on December 31, 2020. The developments at JASA, which now has more than 100 employees and locations in America, Canada, and Germany, delight him, as was evident at the farewell reception. "I could leave so easily because the company's people are doing such a fantastic job and taking JASA to the 'next generation.' Keep doing that. I'm watching from afar and am incredibly proud," says Piet.
Managing Director Eduard de Haan characterized Piet as passionate about the company, hugely entrepreneurial, demanding, even more opinionated, and above all, a tremendously nice guy. That became even more apparent when Piet, a racing fanatic, indicated he would rather not receive a gift.
He wanted people to instead donate to the Big Heart Foundation to give seriously ill children a complete racing experience. The staff gave Pier a mini JASA machine that sports all the logos from JASA history and even includes a miniature Max Verstappen helmet.
The event - attended by 35 global dealers and several major customers - also clearly showed that developments at JAVA continue. Those developments include a 38m packaging line for leafy vegetables for an American customer, including end-of-line case packing. "I think it's the biggest lettuce packaging line ever built in the Netherlands," Eduard concludes proudly. JASA's CEO announced he will open a location in the Middle East next year. The Dutch branch will then also move to a new location.
Photos: Andries Gunter and Izak Heijboer