Print this article

Vandeputte, when tradition rhymes with sustainable commitment

BERTRAND PIERQUIN
Vandeputte SA – Soaps & Detergents, Boulevard Industrial, 20,7700 Mouscron, Belgium

Abstract

When we want to address the theme of sustainability at Vandeputte, it is necessary to go back to the origins of the company, to 1887 to be precise. At this time, in his mill in Rekkem, on the borders with Flanders, Wallonia and France, Gustave Vandeputte, the grandfather of the three brothers currently running the business, thought about pressing flaxseed. The growing of fibrous flax was very widespread in this region at the time and supplied the numerous textile industries, but the use of flaxseed, considered at the time to be waste, was the first great idea by a family of entrepreneurs who has never since ceased to engage ever-more intensely in sustainable development.
Over time, each Vandeputte generation brought its own batch of innovations and investments, but it remains this seed of flax, which guided the main strategic directions taken by the family company. Today, Vandeputte operates as a group with a human face, a citizen enterprise, a leading player in its Euro region, radiating out across the five continents from its base at the heart of the markets of Western Europe. After more than 125 years of existence, on many occasions honoured for its sustainable position, it is indeed the case that the company continues to enjoy an excellent brand image.


VANDEPUTTE: A BENCHMARK IN THE WORLD OF FLAX

The Vandeputte group has become one of the World leaders in the trading and distribution of flax. Thanks to its experience in selecting the finest flax seeds and its expertise in their controlling and tracing allied to a strict purchasing policy, more than 10% of the flax produced around the world today goes through our company.
Since 1995, numerous successive investments have made it possible to increase the capacity of the oil mill by more the 1000% leading to a production of more than 100,000 tonnes of seeds per year. A refining unit has also been installed in order to diversify the range of oils produced, making it possible to reach new markets with higher added value.
The traditional applications