The products of De Smaakspecialst don’t just end up in store. One of the chains in the process is the packing of our products. This happens partially at the social working company of Atlant Group in Helmond. Atlant Group works to bring people into the labour market and give them work. In 90% of the case people can work at external employers. In some cases this is somewhat more difficult, because the limitation doesn’t allow it and somebody needs a little bit more guidance. These people These people start to work at the social working company to pack foodstuffs.
The packing of our foodstuffs at Atlant once began about 3 years ago and now Smaakt has even become the biggest employer. One department has been specially designed for the packing of the products from De Smaakspecialist, which has been christened to be Organic Food Helmond. One group of about 40 people take care that the packaging look as good as possible. This is how many of the Smaakt flours, BioToday Oats to go, several RAW Organic Food powders and activated nuts get packaged. Many hands working, because that’s what it is! Olaf Fugers, Senior Labour Broker & labour integrator at Atlant, tells: “A large part of the working process is done by hand. Look at for example the flours from Smaakt. The labels have to be put on the bag, the bags are pre-folded, if it’s a small order the bags are even hand filled and will have to weighed. Even though these people have very repetitive jobs, they don’t mind doing the same thing for a long time. A change in colour of label or a different flour does a lot for this group.”
Olaf: ”The people that work at the department identify themselves with the brand, they know who they’re doing the work for. When Pieter Dirven visits they also immediately know that he is the ‘’boss”. What’s very fun is that they can see the products in the store. You’ll hear the employees say: ‘He, I was at the Jumbo and I saw Smaakt flour!’ And trying them out is also part of it. How else at De Smaakspecialist? “When the Oats to go just came in everybody was curious. It smelled of raspberry and they didn’t know it. Then we tasted it. Opinions were very split about the taste, but they loved that they were allowed to taste! The tasting helps to identify with the brand and they also got a Christmas package from De Smaakspecialist. It’s pretty unique that something like that happens. They absolutely loved it!
Recently The Atlant Group location has gone through a big redesign and rebuild and they have gone through a professionalizing sweep. All to get the BRC certificate. This certificate gives a remarkable standard in the area of food safety. And the work has payed of: after the audit they got an A-rank status. “The new working environment and certification gives workers peace and stability. They did need to get used to the tough working procedures, but our people are convinced that you need to handle foodstuffs with care. They understand this, this focus group is so precise that they’re almost whiny about it. This is very useful for the work that they do.”