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Heiploeg: Your Partner in Seafood Enjoyment!

The origin of the Heiploeg Group – one of Europe’s leading shrimp processors and distributors – goes back to before 1900 when the family businesses Heidema and Van der Ploeg were founded in Zoutkamp, the Netherlands. Historically, this traditional fishing area was the centre of the shrimping business in the Netherlands because of its location on the Reitdiep river estuary and the shore of the Lauwerszee.

After the Second World War, Zoutkamp developed into the major European shrimping centre. The Zoutkamp-based companies Heidema and Van der Ploeg experienced strong growth and began to work in partnership under the name Heiploeg. The Zoutkamp shrimp fleet moved to Lauwersoog after the Lauwerszee was dammed in 1969. Heiploeg, founded in the early 70s as a result of the cooperation between Heidema and Van der Ploeg, remained loyal to Zoutkamp and showed a steady growth. Thanks to the increasing demand for shrimp and as a consequence of several acquisitions, Heiploeg’s facilities became much too small and it was decided to build a new production plant just outside Zoutkamp. This ultra-modern plant became operational in 1999. From this location Heiploeg enables European consumers to enjoy a broad range of high quality shrimp products, produced from shrimp sourced all over the world and distributed via retail and food service outlets, wholesalers and food processing companies.

Next to the Zoutkamp production plant – specialised in the production of chilled shrimp products – Heiploeg Group also has a production site for frozen products in Ostend (B). Other activities of the Heiploeg Group include shrimp peeling facilities in Morocco and shrimp fisheries and processing plants in Suriname and Guyana. Heiploeg Group employs some 2,500 people and has an annual output of approx. 40 million kg of final products made from shrimp and selected other shellfish and crustaceans, such as crayfish, mussels and scallops.

Innovation, quality and sustainability

It is Heiploeg Group’s mission to grow the market for shrimp and selected ‘seafood enjoyment’ products by offering innovative and sustainable quality products which will incite more consumers to buy and enjoy more shrimp products.

In order to realise this Heiploeg is focusing on innovation in terms of product development, technology and market approach with the objective to successfully tap into the over-riding consumer food trends: enjoyment, health & well-being, convenience and sustainability.

Sustainability is key for the Heiploeg Group: it is an absolute condition for a healthy future for the entire chain from fisheries/aquaculture to the consumer. That is why Heiploeg has been very active in this field for many years. Examples are Heiploeg Group’s efforts and investments to achieve MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certification of the Atlantic Seabob prawn fishery in Suriname and the North Sea shrimp fisheries in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. The Suriname Seabob fishery is about to receive the MSC certification for sustainable fisheries. MSC certification of the Dutch and German North Sea shrimp fisheries is expected to be achieved in 2012. Heiploeg Group also was the initiator of the GLOBALG.A.P. standard for responsible aquaculture and was actively involved in the creation of this standard which is recognised all over the world.

Other examples of Heiploeg Group’s initiatives with regard to corporate social and environmental responsibility are its membership of BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative), their own wastewater treatment plant in Zoutkamp and trucks which carry 60% more volume per trailer, use LPG instead of diesel and are CO2 refrigerated, which not only leads to lower emissions into the environment but also to noise reduction.

Heiploeg Group’s efforts and activities are driven by the Group’s core values: respect, reliability, integrity, customer focus, corporate social responsibility and result driven. Conditions for a healthy future and ustainable ‘seafood enjoyment’!

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