Last month, Vereijken exhibited at another trade fair. The location this time was SPACE in Rennes, the largest international exhibition for animal production in France with about 150,000 visitors. In the buildings of a former airport the whole spectrum of the sector was on display; from a barn with cows, to agricultural implements and stands with information on data management. Under the name of Vereijken France we demonstrated Pro Dromi® Up – the free farrowing pen with moving floor for the first days after farrowing – on our stand. So how did I communicate with the French pig farmers? I got by the best I could!
How do you learn French fast?
No, seriously, before the trade fair I spent a week with the nuns in Spa to learn some key phrases. Left to my own devices, I couldn’t produce much more French than ‘comment ça va’ and ‘je vous en prie’. On the way to Rennes, the whole team sat in the car listening to a CD and repeating phrases as well as we could: ‘Notre société est spécialisée dans la maternité porcelet’. But in the end, it all turned out pretty well, speaking in French from eight in the morning until six in the evening. But I was exhausted!
Thirty years ago
It was surprising to see how many people still knew our name. Vereijken France is no longer active, but there were still pig farmers who had bought equipment from my parents 30 years ago. And the new generation of pig farmers also told us that their fathers had purchased from Vereijken and that the equipment was still going strong. A great motivation to enter the market again!
Three hundred sows average
The average French pig farmer has three hundred sows so their capacity is smaller than what is usual in the Netherlands. Their main area of interest is robust, high quality equipment. But they were also very interested in our innovations, such as free farrowing pens and movable floors. In good French ‘le sol ascenseur’.
PS: we are still looking for a French representative for Vereijken France. Do you know someone or are you interested? In that case, please contact us on +33 2 99 09 88 05 or email@example.com.