Le Venec SA was established in 1946 and has been in the Le Venec family since 1970. In 2010 Alan Le Venec took over the business from his parents and has taken the company from strength to strength.
The company now has 35 employees based in Concarneau and Erquy. Every day, they buy fresh fish from several wholesale markets in Brittany which is then sorted, portioned, and packaged before being sold.
Each year, Le Venec SA sells 2,500 tons of fish directly to the public from its recently expanded store and also to businesses primarily in France, as well as other European countries. The company has an annual turnover of €8 million.
In the past, Le Venec SA traded almost exclusively in small fish. However, in recent years processes have been adapted to handle larger fish.
This was not only to meet changes in customer preference for portioned fish but also because the company was experiencing more and more difficulty at supply level. This was due to EU quotas being significantly downscaled, especially in terms of fishing net specifications.
It was therefore necessary for Le Venec to change its business strategy and make a decision to process bigger fish and supply new customer segments.
This meant that larger fish had to be cut into smaller and very precise portions. Originally this was done by hand and was a hard and tiring task for employees who had to work long hours to meet demand.
Today, thanks to the portion cutter, new markets are opening up to Le Venec SA.
Before, we were limited in terms of capacity and the raw material available in the market. We produced about 200kg per day. Sometimes we were cutting 5,000 portions per day and our employees had to work until very late, it was hard and tiring., Alan Le Venec, Business Owner -
“Now,” he adds, “we process about one ton per day, but the machine actually has the capacity to handle up to one ton per hour. So there is great potential to expand our business even further.”
He continues, “We also have much more flexibility when it comes to raw material. Being able to portion the larger fish that is in supply, and developing new customer segments as a consequence, has been critical for the development of our business.”
“When we purchased the machine, we were looking to improve the competitiveness and productivity of our business - the portion cutter has definitely helped us do this,” says Le Venec.
Marel’s portion cutters are extremely accurate and reliable and are designed to give immediate results on the bottom line. They are the ideal solution for high-value portioning of whitefish into fixed weight and shapes.
With user friendly software and flexible functions, it’s easy to move from inaccurate cutting by hand to accurate portions, on weight every time.
The portion cutter is not only a time saver that results in less waste, better productivity and a smaller margin of error, it also helps to improve working conditions for employees.
Le Venec explains, “The efficiency of the portion cutter has created more time for my employees to perform a variety of other tasks. It has also minimized the overtime necessary for us to keep up with demand. So they now have normal working hours with more varied and interesting tasks.”
An important factor for Alan Le Venec when purchasing a Marel machine was the convenience of a sales and service unit in Brittany.
“I appreciate my relationship with Marel. It’s really convenient to work with a supplier located in Brittany,” says Le Venec. “If I have a problem I can call the Sales Manager or Marel’s after-sales staff and speak with their technicians who respond very quickly - that’s really helpful.”
Marel provides professional service solutions worldwide, either on-site or via remote access. We constantly seek to ensure that equipment performs at an optimal level and meets customer needs, each and every day.
Marel’s global service organization includes more than 600 service specialists, located in approximately 30 countries that perform an average of 1,000 customer service and maintenance visits each day.
The portion cutter has allowed Le Venec SA to become more competitive, reduce loss and to provide a better working environment for their employees.
“The machine is really important for our business now. It’s allowed us to adapt and expand. We’ve got hope for the future because working like this means we don’t have to put all our eggs in one basket,” says Le Venec.
“If I was in need of another machine - I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one from Marel today.”