VEMAG Maschinenbau GmbH now holds EU approval for foodstuffs. Product samples and other foodstuffs that are produced can now be packaged and handed out to customers for tasting and/or presentation. VEMAG is the first German machine manufacturer to be awarded EU approval for foodstuffs.
The EU approval for foodstuffs underpins efforts made by VEMAG to ensure it acts in an ecologically meaningful and sustainable manner to ensure a better, cleaner environment. In the past, foods prepared for and with customers—such as sausages, burgers and filled products—were not officially suitable for consumption, even though they were fundamentally made from high-quality, professionally processed raw materials. The approval primarly guarantees the expertise of all employees, as well as compliance with hygiene regulations. Protocols are in place for all processes within the food area and compliance with the regulations is documented. The top priority is to ensure that human health is safeguarded at all times.
The awarding of the EU approval for foodstuffs has unique benefits for VEMAG customers; benefits that are not available from any other machine manufacturer in Germany. The products that are prepared in the customer centre can now be handed out to customers, who can pass them to the buyers in food retailing to sample — meaning tasting is now possible. Unwanted samples can be channelled for further use and either handed out to be eaten or passed to food waste supermarkets. This actively embodies sustainability and social responsibility on the part of VEMAG.
In conjunction with the application for EU approval for foodstuffs, the customer centre has also been expanded. The extension to the building is VEMAG's response to the growing demand from customers for a suitable development environment for new food products and manufacturing processes. Using customers' original raw materials (alternatively, VEMAG can provide raw materials), customers can work with VEMAG technologists and product managers to test the manufacture of new end products, perfect quality and cost aspects, or produce samples for sample lists for retailers. For products that are already available on the market, the customer centre allows VEMAG to offer solutions that increase product quality and make production more efficient. In addition, FATs (Factory Acceptance Tests) are carried out in the technology areas. This is where customers review their product lines for the final time before delivery.
Opened in October 2005, the customer centre saw VEMAG assume a pioneering role in the industry. With two technology areas and two training rooms, a test kitchen and office space, it was originally expected to host two to three customers weekly. It quickly became apparent that VEMAG was attracting more and more customers with this service. In 2015, for example, 424 demonstrations and/or development tests were carried out and 55 training sessions held for agencies. In 2016, it was 571 demonstrations and product development tests, as well as 55 training sessions.
After doubling the total area to around 2,000 sq. m., the customer centre now has two additional technology areas. It can therefore accommodate four customers a day for a standard booking, or a maximum of eight if the day is split into morning and afternoon sessions. An upper floor has also been added to the building, with offices for salespeople and specialist consultants, as well as a meeting point where customer meetings can be held in a relaxed setting. The training room is equipped with the latest media technology and, thanks to the expansion, has space for 200 people and a view over the Allerwiesen water meadows to the river itself.
Being awarded the EU approval for foodstuffs and the extensions made to the building are evidence of the commitment of VEMAG Maschinenbau to its base in Verden an der Aller. The company has demonstrated that it is secure and looking ahead to the future for many years to come.