Aviagen® EPI is celebrating more than 45 years of a collaborative and dynamic business relationship with Ross® customers in the Netherlands Antoon and Gerda Janssen of Janssen Farm. Based in the village of Reusel near the Belgium border, Janssen was one of the first Ross broiler breeder farms in the country.
Antoon’s father started as a customer with Ross Breeders (which later became Aviagen EPI) in 1974, and since then, the Janssen Farm story has been one of growth and success. (Soon to turn 91, Antoon’s mother Drika can still today be seen collecting eggs on the Janssen Farm.) Beginning with a capacity of 7,000 breeders divided over two houses, in 1979 they added 10,000 breeders, and by 1980, at 27,000 breeders, they were one of the bigger farms in the Netherlands. In 1986, after completing his studies, Antoon entered the business. Nearly two decades later, in 2008 Antoon expanded the farm to 40,000 breeders. The year 2014 marked another turning point, as the family invested in a second location, only this time a rearing farm with 70,000 pullets spread over four houses, all equipped with modern, state-of-the-art technology, such as an air scrubber for environmental sustainability. Their goal in rearing their own pullets was to achieve optimal production performance.
Antoon and Gerda recently decided to sell the production farm, and in November their last flock was depleted. At this location, they reached another amazing milestone of more than 50 consecutive flocks. To commemorate this accomplishment, some former and current Aviagen EPI customer service members paid the Janssen family a visit.
Among these former Aviagen colleagues was Patrick Cos, European Planner, whose history with the Janssens goes way back. Patrick originally worked for Spoormans, a founder of Aviagen EPI that was at the time a Ross distributor in Europe. “Based on my more than 40 years of collaboration with the family, craftsmanship and loyalty are among their distinguishing characteristics,” Patrick remarked.
When Patrick Claeys, now President, European Operations, joined Ross Breeders in 1981, Janssen Farm was one of his first customers, and due to their dedication and expert management of Ross birds, was able to optimize flock health and performance. Patrick comments, “Looking back now, we can say that the Janssens were trendsetters in their profession, and were partly responsible for the rise in popularity of the Ross brand throughout the Netherlands and Belgium.“
As early as 1988, Antoon started separate male feeding on the farm, and in 1990 installed the first automatic laying nest. He has closely experienced year-on-year improvement in health, welfare and performance owing in part to management and in part to genetics. He says he can remember the time when the maximum output was 100 eggs at 60 weeks. This number has almost doubled in today’s flocks.
John Lemmens, Commercial Technical Manager at Aviagen EPI, commented: “We are delighted to celebrate this special occasion with Antoon and Gerda. They have worked very hard over the years and can be proud of their achievements. We want to show just how much we appreciate the work they have done. They are people with a real poultry heart.”
Aviagen EPI would like to thank Antoon and Gerda Janssen for their continued trust in our products and their long-time cooperation. We wish the family all the best going forward with their rearing farm, and hope they will rear Ross birds for many years to come.