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From pots to grains
The company d’Aussy nv was established in 1847. Originally a brickworks and pottery, it evolved from a tannery to a grain mill and an oil mill. "The company ceased operations during the First World War. The tannery closed down, the oil mill was shut down and the grain mill was blown up. The oil mill was started up again after the war." In 1937, the company d'Aussy received permission to produce compound feed. Julien d’Aussy, Stephan's father, was not afraid of investing and built a new animal feed factory in an industrial estate in Torhout at the current location in 1980.
Stephan is a no-nonsense entrepreneur. "We strive for a strong relationship of trust with all our customers; transparency is our creed and our main asset. We know all of our customers by name and are familiar with their individual needs. This enables us to respond quickly to any problems that might occur. We are a medium-sized family business with customers in West and East Flanders. We are flexible, versatile and produce close to our customers. Voeders d’Aussy consists of a close-knit team ... our customers have a single point of contact.”
“We invest a lot in technology, knowledge of staff members and innovation, resulting in a significant increase in turnover and tonnage. We have a team of twenty employees and also organise feed transport internally."
"Our corporate structure works perfectly thanks to Titeca Accountancy."
The recipe for succes
“We only use 500 carefully selected in-house recipes with the right nutritional value, supplements etc. All these recipes are closely guarded trade secrets. We also produce customised feed solutions. This is rather important considering that the quality of the feed we deliver has a major impact on the quality of the meat offered for sale in shops and supermarkets. All our feed solutions start on the land. Fifty percent of our raw materials are of European origin. Grains, wheat, barley, maize, oats, spelt and oil-bearing seeds, rapeseed, linseed and soy from South America.
If you consider the size of the factory, it is quite surprising that everything is controlled in a fully automated manner by only one operator and one warehouse worker. "We evolve; this is the future. We deliver 95% in bulk, the remainder in sacks and big bags. We work 24/6 in different shifts."
“My father and Henri Titeca were close friends. I still remember my father and Henri Titeca engaging in great philosophical discussions about structures, real estate investment companies etc. when I was a child. Our corporate structure works perfectly thanks to Titeca Accountancy. When my father suddenly died, everything had already been taken care of thanks to Philiep Blomme, a partner of Titeca and head of the Mouscron office. He is a pillar of strength, a certainty we can always rely on. The industry has changed enormously in 25 years; fortunately, we have evolved as well. If my father hadn't built this company in the 1980s, we would not be able to implement the current increase in scale today."
Thorcontrol and Voeders D'Aussy, side by side, service-oriented
In addition to d’Aussy's feed solutions, customers can also come here for comprehensive advice from Thorcontrol, which was founded 10 years ago under the leadership of Dieter Pattyn, Stephan's right hand. Thorcontrol originated from the range of services offered by Voeders d'Aussy.
"Our customers are 100% livestock farmers and the delivery of feed products traditionally involves the provision of services, agricultural administration, environmental permits, advice with regard to the manure bank, bonuses, the Flemish Agricultural Investment Fund etc. The environmental permits of many of our customers expired in 2011. This resulted in an increased demand for specialised advice.
Thorcontrol is a research and consultancy business in the field of agriculture, the environment, construction, bonuses, administration etc. However, local brokerage firms, entrepreneurs and self-employed workers of small and large SMEs also make use of the services of Thorcontrol in areas such as environmental advice and construction consultancy (VLAREM). We expand our operations, but our core business remains serving agricultural clients with a five-headed young and dynamic team of experts. Thorcontrol also enables us to build a close relationship with the customers of Voeders d'Aussy with complete confidence and the utmost respect."
A crystal entrepreneurial ball
The entrepreneurial objective? Stephan doesn't beat around the bush. "Nobody has a crystal ball; livestock farming is under pressure and is confronted with a shrinking market. We help companies produce in an even better and more efficient manner and deliver the results promised.
A 6th generation would be nice, but there has to be more to it today; my children are 16, 14 and 9 years old and we leave it entirely up to them.
If you run a business, you employ people and you bear a great deal of responsibility. You do not run a business on your own. I have a great and loyal team. I also like what I'm doing, even though it is a major challenge to run a business in a complex environment."