Vivera in The Netherlands, a company specializing in the production on vegan and vegetarian foods, has partnered with GEA since its inception in 1990. That relationship has helped the company develop its leading range of products and achieve success. It’s a clear illustration of how a real partnership between supplier and manufacturer can benefit both.

Customer profile

Vivera, the Netherlands | Formed plant-based products - posing in front of the CookStar

Vivera in The Netherlands is an award-winning food producer specializing in vegetarian and vegan products. The company has made its extensive range of tasty foods since 1990 with a dozen of recipes and even more products on offer for its customers. Vivera has been listed as one of the most inspiring companies in The Netherlands. 

“GEA has been our technology partner for as long as I can remember.”– Erik Tempelman, Vivera Process Technologist

The challenge

Vivera, the Netherlands | Coated plant-based products coming out the EasyFry

The challenge for Vivera has been, and continues to be, a long-term one. It has worked hard to achieve its high level of success and continues to strive to maintain that leading position. That means its product range needs to be kept fresh and the quality of everything that it produces must be first class. “We regularly change the recipes to meet our customers’ needs,” explained Erik Tempelman, Process Technologist with Vivera.

To achieve that level of flexibility and quality, Vivera has worked with GEA from the outset. Erik has been with the company for 27 years: “GEA has been our technology partner for as long as I can remember,” he said. For him, keeping the customers happy and continually improving the production line is the best part of his job. That’s where the relationship with GEA has really made a difference.

"We deliver great products, and our customers are happy. It’s my job is to make sure we do that as efficiently as possible, with the minimum of wastage. GEA helps me do that every day. Our relationship is becoming stronger and stronger.”– Erik Tempelman, Vivera Process Technologist

The right performance

Vivera, the Netherlands | Coated plant-based products overview CookStar & EasyFry

The relationship between Vivera and GEA is a true partnership; it has to be. The plant includes cutting, mixing, coating and cooking equipment, all from GEA. “GEA’s involvement is growing,” said Erik. “Soon the whole line will be GEA.” 

There are very good reasons for that. Erik explained that he always receives good service from GEA and the GEA Service Center is conveniently located in The Netherlands. “They are very capable, they always listen to my questions, and they have parts in stock,” he said.

The technology needs to be right as well of course. For Erik, the GEA CookStar is his baby. Compared with the GEA linear ovens it’s much more flexible. The CookStar can steam, cook and roast products to perfection and its three zones can be controlled independently for maximum flexibility. “This means we can slow cook, keeping the temperature as low as possible, but also heat or speed up with certain products” he explained. “This helps us to create right variation levels for tasty end products.”

There is much more. The GEA ProMix, for example, that operates in a vacuum to achieve the fiberization of soy products to allow better moisture uptake and the GEA MultiFormer, currently being tested by Vivera. “We are expecting to get very nice products out of that: no smearing, no giveaway, constant weights.”

But Vivera continually needs to look toward the future. That’s where the GEA Technology Center in Bakel has proved its use. It has helped the company develop new products and perfect processes essential to its growth and development. It continues to do so as commodity prices rise, supplies are disrupted and new products are conceived to delight Vivera’s customers.  

“We deliver great products, and our customers are happy,” said Erik. “It’s my job is to make sure we do that as efficiently as possible, with the minimum of wastage. GEA helps me do that every day. Our relationship is becoming stronger and stronger.”

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