Egg trade VKV was rechristened Egg trade E.K.E. Erik Kumpen and Irène Haesen took over the business, where they were both working at that time.
E.K.E. moved from Kermt to Schulen in Herk-de-Stad. Behind the house on Sint-Jorislaan 57 a new building was built where the eggs could be graded.
Bart Kumpen - Erik and Irène's son - later joined the company. A few months later, the dioxin crisis broke out. Export customers in Germany and Luxembourg cancelled their orders. Bart then decided to follow a new strategy: building up a full range of eggs for sale to the Belgian retail trade.
The range was expanded following the new strategy: the sale of free range eggs, marketing the Pick-Nick egg, initial steps towards free range and organic eggs, an increased market share in dyed eggs on the Belgian market.
The company continued to grow, and Bart's wife, Mieke Hofmans,
joined E.K.E. team.
Company fire... Shortly after a busy Easter in 2003, the packing station burned to the ground due to a sudden peak in the power grid. Production was temporarily outsourced to colleagues to guarantee continuity for customers while the production building was rebuilt from scratch.
Takeover of the Vanroy Egg Company in Bilzen. This increases the company's market share in dyed eggs. Production eventually outgrew the site on the Sint-Jorislaan the boiled dyed egg operation was temporarily relocated to the Berbroek Business Center.
E.K.E. was proud to install a new fully automatic grading line for fresh eggs for the first time since its inception. In 2009, the MOBA Omnia 125 was the most modern grading machine in Belgium and could automatically detect broken eggs. The hourly capacity increased to 45,000 eggs/hour.
The production of dyed eggs continued to grow. Because of stricter environmental legislation, EKE invested in a new EBM boiling and dying machine. The airbrush technique guarantees a fine, even layer of dye across the entire egg shell, while keeping dye bleed onto the cooked egg white to a minimum. E.K.E. also leased a new location for dyed egg production, moving to Industrieweg 1114. Bart and Mieke acquired 100% of the company's shares.
Following ongoing growth in the dyed egg business, E.K.E. installed a 2nd airbrush machine. The machine was custom built on site at the industrial estate by machine factory LASE. Hourly capacity for dyed egg increased to 9,000 eggs/hour.
E.K.E. eventually purchased the site on the Industrieweg 1114. That same year, the buildings were expanded with 800 square metres of new construction.
E.K.E. then moved the packing operation from Sint-Jorislaan into the new buildings on the Industrieweg 1114 site, while commissioning a new MOBA Omnia 10, equipped with a packaging robot. The hourly capacity of fresh eggs increased to 60,000 eggs/hour.
Move to the office building at Industrieweg 1114. E.K.E. currently processes
150 million fresh eggs a year and 9 million dyed eggs.
Together with our 20 employees, we generate an annual turnover of 25 million euros.