TOGETHER. 50 Years Wilthagen

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TOGETHER Anniversary Magazine

together 50 years

50 years working together “We will continue to work together in the future.”

The next generation Wilthagen 3 generations and 50 years on.

Dear reader, It is with great pride that we present our magazine ‘Together’. Join us in this magazine for a journey through time: 50 years of Wilthagen. Discover how it all started, new developments over the years, the people behind the company, our partners, and our vision for the future. Why this magazine? Because we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary, a very special occasion. Our (grand)parents were already making artisanal products and surprising snacks, and we’re still doing just that. This magazine shows how we’ve been developing Wilthagen over the course of half a century. And we realize we haven’t been doing that on our own. Actually, we would never have been able to do that on our own. Working together has been a priority from the start. And by now it’s deeply embedded in our system. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone around us for 50 beautiful years, in the hopes that many more will follow. We’re celebrating the whole year, which means we’ll be treating you. To nice promotions, great prizes, our tastiest snacks and more. We’ll also be hosting an open day. Will we see you there? We’re celebrating this milestone together with you. Thank you so much for our continued cooperation. Together 50 years! Enjoy the magazine.

Warm regards, Marcel, Frank, Arthur and Koen Wilthagen

together 50 years


4 From village butcher to snack factory

er h t e g o ing t t a e r astic t C n a f e

o th ployees, t s k n Tha our em ge now f o k wor ct ran types of u d o r our p different nting… u 0 has 6 ing and co g packa

together 50 years


Three generations Wilthagen: Together 50 years


Traditional family recipes and innovative snacks

14 Tapping into new markets with krupuk


Culinary Krupi Chips from oyster mushrooms

19 Helping specialist shops with special products

22 25

A look behind the scenes

Creating a future together



New look for familiar flavor: Sea & Land by Wilthagen

The people behind Wilthagen

together 50 years

32 30 Zeeland family company of the year 2019

Activity calendar 2022


This is a publication of Fresh Publishers Stevinweg 2, 4691 SM Tholen Copyright © 2022 All rights reserved Editing

Colinda van Hemert


Viola van den Hoven

Photography Heijblom Fotografie Acquisition

Andries Gunter


Veldhuis Media

No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written permission from the publisher. The editors accept no liability for any inaccuracies.

Adrie & Paulien Wilthagen

From village butcher to snack factory Contrary to what you may think, this family company doesn’t have its origins in Zeeland, but in the province ofNorthHolland.InCallantsoog,tobeprecise,wherefounderAdrieWilthagenstartedworkingatthelocal butcher’s shop at a young age. Love for the butcher’s profession. That’s where it all started.

their butcher’s shop, Slagerij Wilthagen. What follows is a

Adrie Wilthagen, born in Brabant, grows up in Callantsoog.

busy period for the family: three growing children, the shop,

He’s eager to become a butcher, and decides to join a

butchering for local farmers, delivering orders.

butcher’s shop in the seaside town in North Holland. Here he learns the tricks of the trade and meets his wife Paulien. Following their marriage, they move to Krabbendijke in Zeeland in 1969, where Adrie is given the opportunity to work as chief butcher in the local supermarket. When the opportunity arises to start their own business a few years later, they take it with both hands. In 1972, they establish

together 50 years

On the road Everything changes in the late 1970s. The rise of supermarkets leads to fewer customers. More and more specialist shops are forced to close. Adrie Wilthagen decides to go a different route, hitting the road with his home-fried bacon and liverwurst. Every week, he visits shops in the surrounding area. Demand for the crackling continues to grow, the list of


customers is expanding and the car is soon not big enough.

Heijn stores, and soon other supermarkets follow suit. In

Wilthagen moves into a building in Yerseke, the company’s

due course, Adrie and Paulien supply to stores across the

first factory. From that moment on, the orders are delivered

Netherlands. Things are going so well that an expansion of the

with a van. The children, Marcel, Esther and Frank, also help

company building in Yerseke becomes necessary in 1986. The

out often after school, for instance

factory doubles in size, a number of

with salting the crackling. It turns

employees join, and the van is also

out that combining the butcher’s

too small by now. Adrie and Paulien

shop with the wholesale company

both decide to get their truck driver’s

becomes increasingly challenging.


So in 1982 Adrie and Paulien decide


to sell the butcher’s shop and focus

Their son Marcel has meanwhile

fully on wholesale.

joined the company. He sees no

Growing customer base

future in fishery, which he’s been

So is it all a bed of roses from that

studying, and decides to become a

moment on? Unfortunately not.

butcher. Their son Frank, who served

In the early 1980s, the wholesaler

in the navy for a few years after

experiences difficult times, as a

finishing baker’s school, also joins the

result of the crisis and of increasing competition. Adrie doesn’t give up, he believes in his products. And his perseverance is rewarded. Customers return, and new customers come

“The list of customers is expanding and the car isn’t big enough”

along. The fried bacon is christened

company some years later. It’s time for innovation. To hold on to their position in the market, the company needs to make big investments and modernize. Manual labor is increasingly replaced by machines,

Pork Cracklings. Even butchers,

logistical processes are improved

former competitors, are eager to buy the crackling and

and Wilthagen expands abroad. While Marcel mainly focuses

liverwurst from Wilthagen. Selling to supermarkets turns

on technology and automation to transform the company

out to be a particular success. It starts with a few Albert

into an innovative food plant, Frank has his sights set on


the commercial aspect. The changes bear fruit, and soon Wilthagen again has to look for a bigger building.

Moving to Tholen In order to keep adhering to tougher demands in packaging, food safety and hygiene, the family decides to build a completely new snack factory. But where? The Reimerswaal municipality doesn’t provide expansion opportunities, but Tholen welcomes the family company with open arms. In 1996, the new building is operational. The factory meets all demands, is equipped with all the latest technology, and the first computers are introduced. Wilthagen also invests in a packing line for making consumer packaging. Up until then, they had only made wholesale packaging of 2 and 4 kilograms.

Product development The factory is built for the future, it soon turns out. Around 2000, the company experiences its big break with new supermarket clients like Edah, Konmar, Basismarkt and Super de Boer, and from 2003 Albert Heijn is supplied centrally, which turns out well. More and more AH stores sell Wilthagen products. In the following years, the building in Tholen is expanded several times. In 2005, Marcel and Frank take over the company. They each have their own specialisms and responsibilities, but product development is something they do together. Experimenting with recipes is a passion they both share. The new product, krupuk from Zeeland, turns out to be a hit.

The future The Wilthagen building is now 4,000 square meters, with room for growth. Over the last fifty years, the family company has become a leading production and packing company of meat products and snacks, for clients at home and abroad. Artisanal crackling and liverwurst are still produced every single day. The assortment now also includes krupuk in different flavors, and more and more customer-specific products are being developed. Since 2018, the third Wilthagen

together 50 years


“Experimenting with recipes is a shared passion”


generation has joined the company: Arthur has finished his


togethe When w r cracklin e started m pened: g, this is wh aking some s “Hey, butche at hapgrease oap? I can’t g r, got Now w off my windo et this tall chi e have a 25-mws”. won’t smney, so clot eter the winmell of baco hes be cleandows don’t hn and a ed freq to

education to become a butcher, and Koen has studied retail in college. The second and third generation stay true to the high quality and recognition of the artisanal liverwurst and crackling, while at the same time looking for new opportunities: producing snacks for consumers who choose consciously, and thinking with the client about developing new products. Together for 50 years!


Three generations Wilthagen: Together 50 years Fifty years ago, Adrie Wilthagen was at the helm of the family company. Filled with pride and gratefulness he reflects on half a century of Wilthagen. “I was a butcher at an opportune time, my sons are entrepreneurs. They have to make an effort to keep their position in a constantly changing market.” How did this butcher succeed in laying the foundation for the

Christmas, for instance, we had our delicious home-made

current production and packing company? “Hard work, seeing

roulades, which attracted customers from far and wide. During

opportunities and perseverance,” Adrie says. “Although I’m

Easter and Christmas, we would sell 400 roulades per week.

not officially from Zeeland, I do have their mentality: work

Of course it wasn’t smooth sailing all the time, but in general

hard and put your back into it. The advantage of working at

it was a good time for us. The economy was growing, many

the local shop was that I knew the tactics of the supermarkets.

sectors made good money. We benefited from that as well.”

As a butcher I already focused on tasty quality products, with which we distinguished ourselves from the product range in the supermarket. It was also at a time when bakmi and nasi started to become popular. I responded to that trend by making nasi and bakmi with extra meat. And around

together 50 years

Frying bacon in the butcher’s shop To this day, he doesn’t regret the decision to specialize in pork crackling. The idea to produce crackling for retail started when he still butchered pigs himself for local farmers. “That’s also what created our vision to provide added value with tasty and


fair quality products. Back then, many people still fried the

semi-finished goods. This really opened our eyes, everything

bacon rinds themselves. One day, my neighbor showed me

happened mechanically there, while we were still doing our

how he did it. Based on that we developed our own method.

production manually. It quickly became clear that we had to

That authentic recipe is still in use today. What started with

invest and modernize to keep our position in the market, and

a small kettle in the butchery, quickly turned into a set of

the rest is history.”

six kettles. The whole family helped out, we really made the

“Our parents always gave us the freedom to talk about

product big together. I think it’s very special that customers

our ideas and to make changes. We’re grateful to them for

from all over the Netherlands and beyond come to us.

that, it brought us to where we are now,” Frank continues.

Crackling is a timeless product that’s consumed all over the

While Marcel is responsible for production, technology and


automation, Frank manages all the company’s commercial

Second generation, new vision

affairs. “Product development is really something we do

To his great delight, both sons eventually decide to join the

together, our parents instilled that in us. We both love to

family company. “I never urged them, but how wonderful it is

experiment with new recipes and flavors. And we enjoy

to be able to hand over what you built to the next generation!

sharing new discoveries with each other. Our parents also

From the moment Marcel and Frank joined the company, it all

still love cooking, and what I find very special is that they

went very quickly. It was the time for innovation and further

frequently share all that tasty food with people who are less

professionalization.” Fifteen years ago, when he was 64, Adrie

well off or who are ill, or lonely. This really characterizes our

confidently handed over the company to Frank and Marcel.

parents, living consciously and looking out for the world

Since then, many new products have been added, and they’ve

around you. That’s an example we’ll gladly follow. Our

developed their own vision. A bold move, he thought, the

parents also taught us to save up first and then buy, keeping

decision to start producing krupuk, but Adrie now realizes

your promises and not conceding on quality. Those are still

they switched at exactly the right moment.

important values within the family company.”

“The world is our oyster, contacts are quickly made, but there’s

Third generation, history repeats itself

also a lot of competition. What’s more, the quickly changing

Since a few years, the third generation has joined the family

market constantly requires adjustments and innovations.

company. Koen started working at Wilthagen in 2017, just

People are consuming more consciously, less meat, E numbers are being banned, the demand for local, sustainable and healthier food is on the rise, you name it. Running a company in the food industry is now much more

after the latest renovation. “I always

“We’re happy that the next generation is ready”

challenging than in our days. My

helped out in the company during school holidays, but initially I didn’t intend to join the company permanently. I studied retail in college. Apparently blood runs thicker than water after all. At first I worked in production for a year, then I did planning and inventory management,

sons are dealing with very different wishes and needs, not to

after which I went back to school. At the moment I’m

mention demands. It’s essential to keep an eye on the market

following a commercial management course, and I work in

and to respond to changes. I think it’s fantastic to see how

sales & marketing. The commercial side of the company is

Frank and Marcel are dealing with this, and I’m sure they can

very attractive to me, I’d love to specialize further in that

keep creating space in the market for Wilthagen products.”

department over the coming years.”

Looking out for the world around you

In April 2018, his brother Arthur also joined the company.

“I was 17 when I joined the company, and Frank followed ten

He inherited the passion for the butcher’s profession from

years after that,” Marcel adds. “We were never pushed to

his grandfather Adrie, and after finishing butcher’s school he

work in the family company, but both of us felt this was the

joined a butcher’s shop and slaughterhouse. “It’s a beautiful

right way. As kids we already helped out in the company, we

profession, but I didn’t see myself working there my whole life.

grew up with it. Of course much has changed since we’ve

So I joined the family company after all. Just like Koen, I first

been working in the company, which was necessary in order

worked in production for a while, and got acquainted with all

to create a future for Wilthagen. The urge to modernize was

aspects of the company. Now I’ve been working in production

kindled during our trip to the United States. I was in my early

and personnel planning for a year. I ensure the production

twenties, and with my parents visited a factory that produced

process runs smoothly, and am constantly in touch with


production workers. This is a job I like: close to production and

bacon. That makes you stop and think when you see how well

the workplace.”

our children and grandchildren are doing now. But to be fair,

Grandpa Wilthagen is very proud of his grandsons. “In just a few years they’ve already learned so much, and they’re really motivated to go for it. I think it’s beautiful to see that. And in turn we’re happy that the next generation is ready. Who better to look after our family company than our own family? Of course they will also face their challenges. To keep a family company going, it’s extremely important to continue working

I’ve always worked exceptionally hard, sometimes at the cost of our family. This was only possible thanks to the wonderful support from my wife Paulien. She looked after the children and helped out in the company as well. She really didn’t have an easy time when we had just moved to Zeeland. I greatly admire her strength, and I’m very grateful to Paulien for always standing by me.”

together well, to keep communicating, discovering and

Adrie teaches his children and grandchildren always to put

innovating regularly, like Marcel and Frank are doing. And let’s

their family first, and to find meaning in life. “Faith comes

not forget to keep experiencing joy and satisfaction, because

first for us. Since we’ve had a living relationship with the Lord

enjoying your work goes hand in hand with success.”

Jesus, our life has become so much more valuable. We also

Meaning in life Entrepreneurship is in the Wilthagen family DNA. That his butcher’s shop would end up becoming an international player in meat products and snacks, Adrie didn’t dare to dream of, however. “I’m from a working class family and have seen a lot of poverty. There was a time when we never ate meat, only

together 50 years

take a different view of all our work. The anniversary is a major milestone which we’re very proud of. We’ve accomplished this together with God’s help. So we hope with all our heart that our children and grandchildren will stay true to the values of life, and to keep respecting one another. Here’s to many more beautiful years.”


Traditional family recipes and innovative snacks What do our popular crackling, authentic liverwurst and unique krupuk have in common? All products are made responsibly and in a natural manner. Classic liverwurst

products: Eastern Scheldt seaweed, Dutch onions and North

Liverwurst is a true classic. Adrie Wilthagen already produced

Sea shrimps. The shrimp krupuk contains 17% shrimps, for an

liverwurst in his own butcher’s shop in the village. The product

extra rich shrimp flavor. We buy the shrimps directly at the

is still made according to the authentic family recipe, with the

fish auction. The seaweed krupuk contains 31% rockweed,

rich taste and color of liver, with added pork and bacon. The

which is grown with care in the nearby Easter Scheldt. The

secret is in the mix of spices, which includes pepper, nutmeg,

onion krupuk contains no less than 87% onions, grown in

coriander and ginger. We’ve also created organic chicken

Zeeland and neighboring Brabant. Local ingredients, from

liverwurst, a bit lighter in color than our liverwurst, but just as

producers we know personally, so natural and fresh as can be!

creamy and with the Better Life label.

Product development

Crackling, addictively tasty

All meat products and snacks are produced in-house, which

Everyone knows the Wilthagen crackling. It’s been in our

is pretty special. From our factory in Tholen, the packaged

product range for 50 years now, and it’s still as crunchy and

products come off the conveyor every day. And while our

tasty as ever. We’re the only true Dutch manufacturer of the

products cross borders, for the source we look as close at

popular crackling. Our crackling is made according to the

home as possible. We mainly work with local, sustainably

traditional method: cutting, frying and salting. Nowadays,

grown products. Above all, we value fair, responsible quality

salting is usually done afterwards, to decrease the amount

products. Thanks to the implementation of an ERP system, our

of salt used. We’ve also added a number of flavors to our

production process is fully transparent, can be traced back to

assortment, and we also make pork crunch with a traditional

the source and is auditable every step of the way.

bite now. Our good old crackling is making a grand return on

New unique products

the cocktail plate, as part of trendy paleo, keto and low-carb

We’re butchers by origin. Does this mean we only produce


meat products and snacks for carnivores? Certainly not!

Asian snacks with a Zeeland twist

Especially with a view to the future, with meat consumption

Unique in the Netherlands, we’re proud of our Zeeland krupuk.

under pressure, and a growing demand for healthier, more

We produce our Zeeland krupuk with three tasty local

sustainable food that’s free of allergens, we’ve developed a new way of looking at production methods, new snacks and


more consumption moments. A nice example is our Zeeland krupuk. Many people thought we were crazy: krupuk, that’s from Asia, right?! That’s right, most krupuk is indeed produced in Asia. But we believe in honest, sustainable snacks, which cannot be compared to the mass-manufactured products often found in supermarkets, when it comes to production and flavor. Our krupuk is made with pure, locally grown natural products. And that’s reflected in the taste. Our Zeeland krupuk is ideal to combine with oriental food, and can also be eaten as a snack. We certainly won’t rule out expanding the number of krupuk flavors.

Custom-made products We also increasingly provide custom-made products. Smart snacks with a good story, which entrepreneurs can use to stand out. For instance, together with GRO we produce delicious Krupi Chips, made from oyster mushrooms grown on coffee grounds. You can read more about this on page 17. In addition, second-choice bell peppers and onions get a second chance with us as tasty vegetable crisps, because we want to look after our environment. For Dutch supermarket Jumbo, we also create a custom shrimp krupuk as a nice addition to their MSC certified private label range, a first in the Netherlands. Developing new flavors and products together with clients is getting more and more attention, and will play an even bigger part in our company in the future. We also enjoy cooking, and we often experiment with new recipes, herbs and spices. That passion runs in the Wilthagen family, and has led to a number of successful products.

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Van harte gefeliciteerd met jullie 50-jarige jubileum! Stationsweg 8C | 4416PJ Kruiningen T. (0113) 381113 | |

together 50 years


Gefeliciteerd Team Wilthagen met jullie 50 jarig jubileum! Bedankt voor jullie jarenlange vertrouwen in ons.


+31 321 386 600 | |


Fresh Publishers feliciteert Wilthagen met het vijftigjarig bestaan

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Zuid West Prevent feliciteert familiebedrijf Wilthagen B.V. van harte met hun 50-jarig jubileum!

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Tevens bedankt voor de bijzonder fijne samenwerking van afgelopen jaren. Wij zijn trots ons steentje te mogen bijdragen aan de kwaliteit, en hopen dit in de toekomst te blijven doen!

Uw partner in ondernemen

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Tapping into new markets with krupuk Did you know that crackling is eaten pretty much everywhere in the world? Our own crackling is shipped to various destinations in Europe, like Denmark and Belgium. Many consumers in Asia also enjoy our crackling. Crackling mostly for regular clients

Our method can be compared to the authentic Asian way

When you buy crackling in the Netherlands, chances are

of preparation, making our product popular with Asian

it’s from our factory. That’s because we supply to all Dutch

wholesalers. Although the Netherlands is our main market,

supermarkets. And in the Netherlands, we’re the only

we also export our crackling to various European destinations,

producer of the popular crackling. Our client base includes

with Belgium and Denmark as our most important markets.

national and international retailers as well as players in

Another European country where crackling is consumed a lot,

food service, wholesale and small retail. Our products are

is the United Kingdom. ‘Pork scratchings’, as they call it, is a

also available at supermarkets, specialist shops, tokos and

British snack classic. Millions of bags are sold annually, and

restaurants. We also directly supply to a number of restaurant

crackling is also popular in pubs. In Denmark, ‘flaeskesvoer’

chains, web shops and meal delivery companies.

is also abundantly available, and in Spain crackling is often

Loyal customer base Elderly in particular are big fans of crackling, but the snack

served as tapas, where they are called ‘chicharrones’ or ‘torreznos’.

is also increasingly seen on modern cocktail plates and in

Global consumption

trendy diets such as paleo, keto and low-carb. Men especially

It’s not just the British who love crackling. The snack is

love it. Remarkably, crackling is sold less in the north of

consumed the world over. In the United States, crackling is

North Holland and in Limburg compared to the rest of the

particularly popular in the Southern States, where it’s also

Netherlands, while consumption in the Utrecht region, the

known as ‘pork rinds’. In Austria and Germany, they know

Achterhoek and Zeeland is higher than average. Crackling is

crackling as ‘Grammeln’, ‘Grieben’ or ‘Schweinekrusten’, while

also sometimes used as a replacement for breadcrumbs. Our

in Portugal it’s called ‘torresmos’ and ‘couratos’. The French

crackling has a loyal customer base, it’s been on the shelves in

like to use the ingredient in stews, referring to it as ‘grattons’.

some stores for 50 years in a row. Pretty unique.

Canada calls their crackling ‘scrunchions’.

Traditionally, crackling is consumed a lot in Asian countries,

Mexico has the highest consumption of crackling of any

where people generally produce the snack themselves.

country in the world, or ‘chicharrón con gordo’ as it’s called there, and it’s also one of the world’s biggest producers. In the Philippines they call it ‘chicharon’, and in Thailand ‘khaep mu’ is a particular delicacy in the north of the country. There they enjoy it with Thai chili dishes or sprinkled over a salad. In Vietnam, crackling is also popular, known as ‘tóp mõ’, where it’s an often-used ingredient in dishes like bakmi and noodle soup.

Zeeland krupuk goes international While the Netherlands is our main target market for crackling, most of our krupuk is actually sold abroad. Switzerland is one of the main markets, partly thanks to the MSC certificate. We’re the first and only producer of certified shrimp krupuk, made with sustainably caught shrimps from the North Sea. Our crackling is sold in, among others, the Migros stores, Switzerland’s biggest supermarket chain. In addition, we export large quantities of krupuk to Germany.

together 50 years


Zeeland krupuk has given Wilthagen a lot of brand recognition and new clients. Because we own the complete production process, from making the semi-finished product to frying and packaging the krupuk, scaling up is not a problem. The product, relatively new to Wilthagen, offers plenty of opportunity for expansion. For instance, specifically for meal delivery companies we developed a smaller, 10-gram pack, and we’re constantly, together with our clients, looking for new flavors and recipes. Right now we’re looking into the possibility of making insect-based krupuk.

Snacking consciously Krupuk is a versatile product, which suits our vision for the future, where tasty and conscious snacking becomes ever more important. The group of consumers with a vegetarian, vegan and/or allergen-free diet is expanding, and we want to continue to be mindful of the environment. The Krupi Chips we’ve developed together with GRO, made from oyster mushrooms that are grown on coffee grounds, are a good example of this. We also produce mushroom crisps and vegetable crisps based on waste products, to combat food waste. We’re mostly looking for new marketing opportunities for

development, client-specific products and differentiation

our crackling abroad, but for the krupuk there are lots of

in flavors and recipes are concerned. We also see good

opportunities in the Netherlands, especially where product

opportunities to expand in terms of moments of use. Krupuk is traditionally mainly consumed at dinner, but we’re seeing a clear shift from meals towards snacks. Krupuk as a snack, to dip while having a drink, or at breakfast. The production process offers lots of opportunities, and we’re happy to work on this alongside our clients.

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together 50 years


Culinary Krupi Chips from oyster mushrooms GROproducestastyproductsfromoystermushroomsgrownoncoffeegrounds.Aprocesswhichiscompletely circular. Together with Wilthagen, GRO developed the new product Krupi Chips, a vegan crisp made from oyster mushrooms. The innovative company GRO was born from idealism.

mushrooms. With help from Culinary Creative Jean

Working together for a better future, by bringing products

Beddington, a chef born and raised in England, they’re

to market that help reduce environmental impact. At GRO,

continuously looking for new products and recipes. Jean

the oyster mushroom grown on coffee grounds takes center

is passionate about mushrooms and is known for her

stage. “A huge amount of coffee residue is thrown away in

groundbreaking culinary ideas. “She also came up with the

the Netherlands. That’s a shame, because it contains a lot

idea to develop crisps made from oyster mushrooms,” Wouter

of valuable materials,” explains commercial director Wouter

notes. “Our products are mainly sold frozen. Jean wanted

Muis. “We turn this organic residue into food, in an efficient

to show how diverse oyster mushrooms really are, coming

manner.” Oyster mushrooms are tasty and versatile, they

up with a crunchy crisp. The krupuk-like snack got such an

can be used to make a wide variety of delicious creations.

enthusiastic response that we decided to give the product a

The GRO range comprises, among others, oyster mushroom


croquettes, bitterballen, rolls, carpaccio, oyster mushroom

Cooperation with krupuk specialist

burgers, and the blended, a burger made with oyster

Initially, GRO was looking for opportunities to produce the

mushrooms and beef.

crisps themselves, which turned out to be more complicated

The GRO products are suitable for a vegetarian and vegan

than they thought. “Through our network we ended up at

lifestyle, and through wholesale they end up in cafes, catering,

Wilthagen, because they’re the only real masters of the krupuk

hotels, leisure, restaurants, fast service, meal delivery and

technique in the Netherlands. Plus they’ve had experience

specialist shops. “We’ve noticed that niche products from

for years in vegan and allergen-free food. For us it’s very

long ago have become more mainstream. This also means

important that our products are accessible to a wide range of

more people are getting acquainted with our tasty oyster

people.” Together with GRO, Wilthagen developed the Krupi

mushrooms. Also good to know: our products are not meat

Chips. This vegan crisp from oyster mushrooms resembles

substitutes, they are full-fledged culinary snacks, with a clear

krupuk in its texture, and has a delicious and special umami

flavor of oyster mushrooms.”

flavor. Krupi Chips contain more than 50% oyster mushrooms, making it a combination between krupuk and vegetable crisps,

Fully circular process

hence the name.

What makes GRO unique and special is the fully circular production process. All the locations where the company

Snack by chefs, for chefs

sources its coffee grounds, in turn sell their products. “When

Krupi Chips are found in a

wholesalers deliver their orders, they bring the coffee grounds

range of gift boxes, and have

along as well. This is cleaned and then, by adding straw,

now also been added to the

calcium and spores, becomes the substrate for growing the

permanent assortment at

oyster mushrooms. Even the unused parts of the mushrooms

Crisp, Sligro and Gorillas.

are processed into a natural flavor enhancer, so less salt is

“Krupi Chips have a nice


earthy flavor, and do well in professional kitchens as a

The oyster mushrooms are grown for GRO at Verbruggen

garnish with pumpkin dishes,

Paddestoelen, so that the company can focus fully on

curry, game, fish, etc. It’s really

marketing and product development for the oyster

a product made by chefs,


for chefs. It’s also consumed a lot with Asian dishes, or as a

students. An opportunity we took with both hands, especially

snack. We now have one basic flavor, a recipe with added fresh

given the corona pandemic. What we appreciate about

ingredients, such as chili and ginger. The introduction of new

Wilthagen is that they make all their products themselves, in

flavors is something for the future.”

the Netherlands. Their vision, ‘conscious entrepreneurship’

Wouter has high hopes for Krupi Chips, given the growing demand for the vegan crisp. Particularly in retail he sees good

and ‘looking after the region, people and environment’, really speaks to us and suits our philosophy.”

opportunities for expansion. There the Krupi Chips are mainly

“Wilthagen is a typical family company: reliable, committed,

offered in the luxury crisp segment. “There is growing demand

responsible, direct communication, etc. That’s a nice way

for healthier and/or allergen-free snacks, unique products

of working. What we particularly like is that they are down

with a story and food that suits a vegetarian and vegan

to earth and straightforward, in a good way. They think

lifestyle. Consuming more consciously will become even more

about every aspect, and are not afraid to speak out when

important in the future.”

something can’t be done. Also remarkable, there is no room

Typical family company with professional passion As they say at GRO, they couldn’t have found a better partner

for compromise when it comes to quality, to their credit. The passion and love for the profession is visible everywhere.”

for the Krupi Chips than Wilthagen. The family company from Tholen keeps a close eye on quality and inventory. They also offer suggestions for the development of new flavors and packaging. “Recently Wilthagen very quickly developed a 30gram bag for us. Their flexibility and decisiveness is admirable. We got a big last-minute order from a school district. They wanted to hand out our Krupi Chips as a responsible snack to

together 50 years


Helping specialist shops with special products

FZ Organic Food is a producer of 100% organic food. Not because it’s good marketing, but because of their passion. Together with Wilthagen, the family company develops organic crisps and krupuk. FZ Organic Food is a typical family company, founded in 1983

distribution network, and other brands also came to him.

by Frans Andringa. He started the company based on his wife’s

My father then acquired the company Yakso, complete with

ideology, who often purchased organic groceries. “My father

machines and staff. From then on, the in-house production

saw opportunities to make organic food more affordable and

kept expanding. Now we have around 300 to 350 products in

accessible, to have a positive impact on the world,” Bjorn

our range, we manage five well-known organic brands, and we

Andringa says. He’s been managing the company with his

provide the opportunity to offer our wide range of products,

brother Folmer since 2013.

recipes and packaging under private label.”

Dutch product for international market

A large share of the assortment is produced in-house at the

Frans was a true pioneer in the organic industry. He started

FZ Organic Food premises in Wolvega: from wok sauces to

supplying organic cheese to German wholesalers and health

mayonnaise, and from soups to jams. The rest is procured

food stores. Bjorn: “This went well, he soon had a large

through professional partners. The products are mostly sold in organic specialist shops, but FZ Organic Food also has clients in retail and food service. “We currently export to around forty different countries, only 25 percent of the products remain in the Netherlands. Germany is still our main target market.”

Innovation in products and packaging The producer and wholesaler focuses increasingly on product development. New products, recipes and packaging, often together with clients, so that specialist shops can stand out and be innovative in their market segment. “Packaging is a


hot item at the moment. We’re actively reducing the use of plastic, and we’re the only organic crisp producer working with laminated plastic. We expect to continue this trend in our range of dry products.” The partnership with Wilthagen started after an initial meeting at a large food event. The conversation went so well on both sides, that the entrepreneurs decided to think about developing new products together. This led to a number of new snacks, including organic krupuk, veggie krupuk and organic crisps. And more products are likely to follow. “We’re both family companies, and it shows. Both companies have grown from passion; we think the same way about products,

that. The partnership is great anyway. Zeeland and Friesland

machines, people, opportunities and challenges,” Bjorn notes.

complement each other in that respect. We actually have

“You’re infected with the entrepreneur virus, so to speak.

positive experiences with all companies from Zeeland we

Folmer and I grew up in a family that lived to create their own

work with. You can count on them. Maybe that’s because of

products and markets. We saw it all, the good and not so good

the reliable, down to earth, honest character many people in

aspects of entrepreneurship. It’s given us a huge boost to

Zeeland have.”

continue the company.”

Zeeland and Friesland complement each other He also notes that at Wilthagen, they’re great at keeping a level head. “The company focuses on developing products that stand out. They won’t let others drive them crazy, they focus on their own activities. We recognize ourselves in

Bjorn and Folmer Andringa

together 50 years


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A look behind the scenes Inthemodernfactoryhall,Wilthagenhasallthenecessarytechnologyforanautomated andfood-safeproductionprocess.Thelatestadditionisthenewsnacklineforvegetables, mainly potatoes and corn. This is the fourth production line, in addition to those for crackling, liverwurst, and krupuk. To make our products, we have several production lines.

also separately from the other types

Crackling is still at the heart of our company. From Monday to

of krupuk. On Friday, all machines are

Friday, crackling is made fresh every day. How we do it? First

cleaned once more, so we can have a

wide strips of bacon are cut. After a few days of maturing,

fresh and hygienic start again after the

the rinds are fried in their own fat, and become as brittle as


popcorn. They cool down, are salted and then packaged. Just like in the old days, but mechanically.

Option for custom-made packaging

The sausage meat for our liverwurst is made from fresh pork

All production is done completely

liver, with added pork and bacon for extra flavor. We also

mechanically, including packaging. Only

add a small amount of salt and our own spice mix, consisting

the final stage, filling and stacking the

of white pepper, mace (the covering of the nutmeg seed),

boxes, is still done manually. Did you

coriander and ginger. After the spices, the sausage is given

know we offer a range of packaging

a plastic coat, then we cook the Zeeland liverwurst in large

options? From large bulk packages to

kettles, using the slow-cooking method. During this cooking

portion packs and consumer packaging.

process, the sausage gains its shelf life, and the spices add

We also regularly develop custom-made

their flavor to the meat. Then the sausages are cooled and

packaging together with companies.

packed for transport.

Quality and safety

Krupuk rushed from bake to bag

Thanks to the implementation of an

To produce our krupuk, we had a completely new factory

ERP system, the whole production

hall built. The seaweed, onions and shrimps that arrive here,

process is fully transparent, traceable

are cooked, dried, and formed into slices of dough by adding

to the source, and auditable every step

tapioca: the semi-finished product. These dough slices are

of the way. For us it’s important to

transported by conveyor to a baking machine, which bakes the

quickly respond to changing customer

slices at 185 degrees Celsius. Then a vibration plate ensures no

demands, with honest and sustainable

fat remains on the krupuk. Just a few minutes later, the krupuk

products. Of course that also includes

is packaged, ready for transport. The factory hall is made in

the right certificates. Especially in the

such a way that everything can be kept clean and proper, so

last fifteen years, a lot of labels have

we can start the next production day safe and with a clean

been added. Wilthagen is certified in


BRC (8), SKAL, BLK and EDI. We also

Making the shrimp krupuk requires extra attention. Shrimps are shellfish, which could trigger an allergic reaction. That’s why they are processed separately. We produce the shrimp krupuk completely separately from the meat products, and

together 50 years

have an MSC label for sustainably caught fish, and ASC for sustainably farmed fish. In addition, we’ve received the V-Label certificate. All certificates are proudly on display on our wall in Tholen.


Quality control gets our attention every single day. Together

out. That way we create a culture in which employees are

we work hard for quality and safety. Our quality manager

consciously and subconsciously working (more) safely.

ensures we keep adhering to all certifications and licenses,

For our customers, and for ourselves.

that all the rules are followed, and inspections are carried


Murre Technologies

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Krabbendijke (NL) +31(0)113.503080,

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Technology Tramper Technology

Wij feliciteren Familie Wilthagen Wij feliciteren Familie Wilthagen met haar 50-jarig jubileum! met haar 50-jarig jubileum!











together 50 years


Creating a future together Wilthagen has gone through huge changes in 50 years. We grew from a village butcher to an international production and packaging company. The love for our profession and the enjoyment we get from making fine meat products and special snacks is what we’re all about. It’s becoming ever more important to respond fast and with flexibility to a constantly changing market. In the future we’ll also cherish our traditional family recipes

But can we do it even more responsibly, without impacting

and will keep coming up with innovative food solutions. Our

the flavor? We’ll certainly explore this in the future. Meat

focus is on producing snacks for consumers who consciously

consumption is also going down. A growing group of people

choose sustainable, circular, fair and/or responsible. We want

is eating (partially) vegetarian and vegan. We’d like for this

to look after the environment, and now and in the future will

growing group of people to be able to keep enjoying our

ensure high quality and recognizability of the artisanal liver-

surprising snacks. Two of our krupuk varieties are suitable

wurst and crackling.

for vegetarians and vegans, and our vegetable crisps are also suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Vegetarian crackling

Responsible and multiple moments

is also a possibility. And then there are the ever growing

In order to create a space in the market for Wilthagen products in the coming years as well, we have to keep looking forward. Will people still be eating crackling 20 years from now? Probably, but it’s a fact that the snack segment is changing. That’s why we’re already looking at other varieties, responsible snacks and expanding the number of eating moments. Our

demands when it comes to food. Sugar and salt reduction are in full swing, and demand for protein-rich and allergen-free food is growing. We’re limiting the use of sugar, and our salt use has also been greatly reduced for years now. We used to salt the crackling before frying, now we do it afterwards. That way consumers still enjoy the salty flavor, while a lot less salt

production process offers so many more opportunities, even including breakfast. In the coming years, we’ll focus heavily on

is added in the process.

innovative snacks and inspiring clients and consumers. What

2) More demand for allergen-free food

are our most important pillars?

Good to know: many of our products are allergen-free. Our krupuk is gluten-free, because we use tapioca flour without any other additions. And that also goes for all raw ingredients in our crackling and liverwurst. What’s more, Wilthagen products don’t contain eggs, soy or milk, and we don’t use E numbers. Because shrimps are an allergen, we process them separately, completely isolated from the meat products and also separate from the other krupuk varieties. In addition, the Nutri-Score, a logo that scores a product with colors and letters, is becoming more and more important. Albert Heijn has already started displaying the Nutri-Score on their private label products, to help consumers choose a healthier food option. Functional food also provides us with opportunities. With functional food, an ingredient is added

1)Conscioussnackingandgrowingdietarydemands Baking and frying responsibly is a must. We provide the option to fry in plant-based fat, which is generally better than frying in animal fat, and our bacon is fried in its own fat nowadays.


or taken out to improve the nutritional value of that product. Take protein-rich snacks, for instance, or snacks enriched with vitamins.

3) Attention for sustainable and circular processes Did you know that our crackling for retailers is made with bacon supplied by our own pig farmers? Closing the chain is happening and getting more and more attention. For our raw ingredients, we work with a small group of regular suppliers, preferably as local as possible. And to combat food waste, we turn residues into innovative and tasty snacks. GRO’s Krupi Chips, made from oyster mushrooms grown on coffee grounds, are a good example of this. At all locations where the company sources its coffee grounds, their products are sold as well. We’re very enthusiastic about doing business sustainably. For instance, we use seaweed from the Easter Scheldt, sustainably caught shrimps from the North Sea, with MSC label, and ASC-certified farmed fish, to ensure enough fish remains in the sea. Together with a number of retailers, we sell crackling and pork crunch under the Better Life label. More and more customers are asking for this, and we’re also serious about animal welfare. We also keep our eyes peeled for novelties in environmentally-friendly packaging. Whenever possible, our snacks are packaged in PVC-free and/or mono packaging, which is easily recyclable. Our human resource management is also part of

Theo Middelkoop, sales manager: “A lot is happening in the snack segment. That’s why we’re already looking at other varieties, responsible snacks and expansion of the number of eating moments.”

our sustainable way of doing business. It’s important to us to manage the staff well, to remain personally involved, and to involve them with projects and developments, which they appreciate. We see it as our task to take care of the planet and the people.

5) Product development: making snacks that stand out together with clients Finally, product development is becoming increasingly important within our company. Smart and unique snacks, which

4) Honest and transparent production

clients can use to stand out. More and more, we’re at the table

It’s not just something you aspire to anymore, it’s becoming

with clients to develop ideas for new products together. We

a must: being fair and transparent. Suppliers should be trans-

like to consult in matters of allergens, circular production,

parent about their products, consumers want to know what

dietary wishes, an organic, vegetarian or vegan version of an

their food does and doesn’t contain. Preferably completely

existing product, new recipes, special flavors, etc.

natural, without flavor enhancers or preservatives. That’s why it’s also our job to provide insight into where we source our ingredients, how we produce and what ingredients we use. The implementation of an ERP system, which makes the production process fully transparent, traceable to the source and auditable at every moment, helps with that and has given us a lot. It helps to make processes transparent, it increases efficiency and makes it possible to produce custom-made products more easily. The DNA of the final products tells the whole story, from pig to packaging.

Developing new products together, or co-creation, is becoming ever more important in a market that changes quickly. An added benefit is that with us, clients can experiment with small quantities, and the options in our modern factory have been expanded: from cutting and portioning to cooking, drying, frying and packaging. We used to make mostly products upon request, now we create bespoke products together, based on specific wishes and requirements. This also means more personal contact with clients, fewer generic products, more differentiation. Looking for niches in the market. That’s exactly where our strength lies.

together 50 years


New look for familiar flavor: Sea & Land by Wilthagen Wilthagen brings land and sea together in a new packaging. Adorning the new bags of our pork cracklings, curly crunch and soft bite pork crunch is a cheerful drawing of an artisanal butcher. A nod to grandpa Wilthagen, at whose butcher’s shop in Krabbendijke in Zeeland the successful crackling originated. The packaging of the Zeeland krupuk also show a cheerful and recognizable drawing: a reference to Zeeland and all the best the farmers and fishermen of the region have to offer. Under the name Sea & Land by Wilthagen, the assortment

packaging, which stands out in the shops. The packaging suits

gets a new and recognizable look. We are proud of our roots:

our family company and the joy we experience in making fine

Zeeland, where land and sea meet, and we want to show

meat products and special snacks. Our familiar flavor and

it. Sea & Land by Wilthagen is recognizable by the cheerful

quality with a new look!


g Experieenr cin togeth

t of our h ig e n a h t No less e been with v a h s e e y lo emp r more. o s r a e y .5 2 us for 1 5 percent 3 ly r a e n ’s That e’re ver y W . ff a t s e h of all t that! happy with

The people behind Wilthagen The growth of our company is partly thanks to our motivated and dedicated employees. We now have about twenty-five employees, ranging from young talent to seasoned veterans. A stable and close-knit team, enthusiastically working every day to provide our customers with fine meat products and special snacks. Our employees share a passion for tasty food and honest products, they’re a part of the family. We really are in it together.

Gerard Heppe 48 years old Joined in 2000 Favorite snack: crackling “I’m an all-round employee and work mainly in order processing. I make sure all orders that come in are processed. This means, among other things, communicating with planning on what needs to be processed, order picking,

together 50 years

preparing all the orders and contacting the shipper to inform them how many pallets can be picked up. It’s a very interesting job, every day is different. When I started as a production worker 22 years ago, we only produced crackling and liverwurst. Anyone could visit and take a look around. The atmosphere at Wilthagen was still more that of a butcher’s shop. Over the years, the company grew to become a professional production company. I still remember when we divided the work at the start of the day ourselves. Now that wouldn’t be possible anymore, given the size of the company. Now everyone has their own job and responsibilities, everything is organized and structured, and the production process is almost completely mechanical. Although the company has undergone major developments, we still have the atmosphere of a small family company. The founder of the company, Mister Wilthagen, still stops by frequently for a chat. That’s nice. We all know each other here, and everyone is involved with the company. Frank and Marcel are also seen in the workplace a lot, they show interest and are understanding. That feels good. I also like that I’m getting a lot of freedom and confidence to determine how I do my job. I still go to work with joy every single day, and I feel right at home here.”


“I always worked in the restaurant business, but wanted something different, a more steady job. I couldn’t have found a better workplace than Wilthagen. I’m currently an all-round production worker, one of my tasks is frying the various types of krupuk. At the start of the day, I set the ovens according to the orders, prepare the packaging and labels, and then we start making the snacks. Working in production involves all sorts of things, from cutting bacon to frying the krupuk. In between I carry out frequent checks and measurements, to make sure the product has the right quality and flavor. It’s still great to see the final product coming off the conveyor, packaged and all. I also do some work in expedition now, and through Wilthagen I got my reach truck certificate. What strikes me in being a part of this family company is the personal involvement. You’re a person here, not a number. Communication is direct, if something’s up you can just walk into the office. It gives me the feeling that I matter, that’s good. On my birthday I got a gift certificate, I’ve never had that at any previous job. It’s a small gesture, but it’s very much appreciated.”

Michael Raaijmakers 31 years old Joined in 2021 Favorite snack: salmon krupuk

“With my job as a quality manager, I’m the link between production and management. For production companies in the food industry, there are a lot of rules, requirements and legislation. It’s my job to ensure everything is in order and adhered to. An interesting and challenging job. In the fourteen years I’ve been at Wilthagen, I’ve developed a lot. I started out in production, pretty much like everyone who joins the company. Then I went to order processing, which means preparing all the orders for customers, and then I became a production manager. As such you oversee the team of production workers and make sure the production process runs smoothly. In my current job, it’s a great advantage that I know the production process and employees well. The nice thing about working at Wilthagen is the opportunities for growth. If you want, you’ll get plenty of opportunities for personal development. It’s just a nice company to work. The atmosphere is good, people work hard and we also enjoy our time together. The most special occasion while working here is being chosen as Zeeland’s family company of the year 2019. The festive award night particularly remains a nice memory. It made me proud to be a part of this company.”

Lennard Stok 39 years old Joined in 2007 Favorite snack: vegetable krupuk


Zeeland family company of the year 2019 The year 2019 was a very special one. Wilthagen was chosen as Zeeland’s family company of the year. An achievement that still fills us with pride. A big surprise That’s what it was for Wilthagen, being nominated and winning the award. Because the family company was nominated by employees, without the management knowing. Only when the company made the shortlist of three nominees, Marcel and Frank were notified. “Of course we were very proud of that. Especially because in Zeeland many companies are family companies. It feels good to realize such an achievement as a family. And this election was extra special for us, because the employees initiated it. You can’t wish for a better appraisal!”

Zeeland identity During the Zeeland family company of the year election in 2019, quality of life in Zeeland and social engagement took center stage. The other nominees were Budelpack and Wilhelm. From the moment that Wilthagen made it to the final, we actively drew attention to the election to get votes. It ended up going right down to the wire, the scores were very close. “Eventually we were awarded the title, with the highest vote count both from the general audience and from the professional judges. The judges praised us for our employees, many of whom have been with us for years. Our promotion of the Zeeland identity was also highly appreciated. Our local products are made with love for the profession, have a recognizable identity and are exported around the world. We’re also pleased with the judging report on our working method:

her t e g o t g n i t Celebra onth. ke ever y m a c e v a h e W ilthagen W m o r f t a e A tr birthdays e h t e t a r b to cele ees in that y lo p m e r u of o month.

transparent chains, sustainable production and a wide range of both meat and vegan snacks.”

Unforgettable party That the family company from Tholen ended up getting the award made the party complete. “At first there was disbelief, we really hadn’t seen this coming. Then a sense of pride prevailed; wonderful that we achieved this together. We still look back on this night fondly. Our smallest food truck was in the middle of the Mythe theater, and at the end of the evening all guests were treated to liverwurst, crackling and Zeeland krupuk. Because our tastiest snacks had to be there at this unforgettable party!”

together 50 years


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together 50 years


January 2022 A special logo for 50 years Wilthagen “In 2022 we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary. What does that mean to us? Half a century of working on developing Wilthagen. We realize we haven’t done that on our own. Actually, we could never have done it on our own. The proverb ‘If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together’ really suits us. For us, working together was key right from the start. And now it’s deeply embedded in our system.” To celebrate our anniversary, we developed the logo Together 50 years Wilthagen. Website 50 years together, a year of celebrations Wilthagen has turned 50. Especially for this anniversary, we created the website The website has been live since January 3, 2022. Social Media Throughout the year, our social media channels will be all about the theme ‘Together 50 years Wilthagen’. Decorating the Wilthagen building in Tholen Have you been at our company building recently? You’ll probably have noticed that we don’t plan on hiding the fact that we’re turning 50 this year. Digital newsletter 1 Four times a year, we’re distributing a special “Together 50 years Wilthagen” newsletter in Dutch and English. Want to stay up to date on our activities? Then sign up below and you’ll receive our newsletters automatically.

February 2022 Anniversary Magazine TOGETHER.

In February, our anniversary magazine is published. A special publication that’s all about Together 50 years Wilthagen. Haven’t received our anniversary magazine yet? We’ll be happy to send it to you. Send us an e-mail and you’ll receive the magazine as soon as possible. Guess & Win promotion for the Netherlands At the end of February, our Guess & Win promotion takes off. Guess the weight of the crackling in this barrel and win… This promotion will run until late November. Join in for a chance of winning a beautiful BBQ with a value of € 350,- or 1 of our other fun and tasty prizes.

April/May 2022 Digital newsletter 2

Four times a year, we’re distributing a special “Together 50 years Wilthagen” newsletter in Dutch and English. Want to stay up to date on our activities by e-mail? Then sign up below and you’ll receive our newsletters automatically.

May 2022 Open Day at Wilthagen

May 3, 2022 is a special day for us, because we’ll celebrate our 50th anniversary since being established on May 3, 1972 in Krabbendijke. Our plan is to organize an Open Day on May 20 for clients, suppliers and other relations. And on May 21 we’ll be celebrating with all our colleagues. Of course it will depend on the pandemic situation at that time. Stay tuned.

July 2022 WilthagenthanksKrabbendijkeandTholen Wilthagen thanks… Wilthagen thanks the inhabitants of Krabbendijke and Tholen. We’ll be doing this in style, and in a playful manner. How we will do that…? We won’t spoil that just yet. We’ll be announcing it later, and once we do, there’s no escape.

August 2022 Digital newsletter 3

Four times a year, we’re distributing a special “Together 50 years Wilthagen” newsletter in Dutch and English. Want to stay up to date on our activities by e-mail? Then sign up below and you’ll receive our newsletters automatically.

November 2022 Digital newsletter 4

Four times a year, we’re distributing a special “Together 50 years Wilthagen” newsletter in Dutch and English. Want to stay up to date on our activities by e-mail? Then sign up below and you’ll receive our newsletters automatically. Prize-giving Guess & Win promotion The 50 entries closest to the right weight of the crackling will win. The entry who’s closest to the correct weight will win the beautiful BBQ with a value of € 350,- and the 49 others will receive our special gift box.

March 2022 Wilthagen’s treat. Special gift box.

Working together W

At the moment, we’re hard at work putting together a special gift box for all our relations. What’s in it? That’s still a surprise.

together 50 years


ilthagen hierarchy has a flat , municati with direct comon involvem and strong e departm nt. The various en ly in com ts are constantm each oth unication with er without . We can’t do it each oth er.