The Weduwe M. Dejonghe & Zonen company, which had been selling and transporting agricultural products (especially carrots) for many years, met with a Dutch entrepreneur who was freezing spinach. The brothers André, Georges and Frans Dejonghe were immediately drawn to the idea. They built a small plant in Westrozebeke (BE). In the early years, 500 tonnes of vegetables were processed on an annual basis.
The likeable Pinguin
Birth of the Pinguin brand name. The link with ‘frozen foods’ is obvious. However, beyond the connotation of freezing, the penguin (‘pinguin’ in Dutch) also represents a likeable creature that is perfectly happy in the cold Antarctic climate. The ecological aspect is equally important here: Antarctica evokes images of purity and pristine nature. Pinguin embarks upon a steady growth.
New production site
Pinguin opens an additional production site in Langemark (BE).
The founders pass the torch to their children Koen, Jan and Herwig Dejonghe.
Pinguin goes internationaal
The Dejonghe cousins set up Légum’land Surgelés: a joint venture between Pinguin, French farmers and the UK-based Fisher Frozen Foods.
Pinguin goes public.
Plenty of acquisitions
In 2002 Pinguin takes over King’s Lynn based Fisher Frozen Foods (UK). The acquisition kicks off Pinguin Foods UK. Following this acquisition, Légum’land Surgelés is renamed Pinguin Aquitaine. In 2007, Padley Vegetables (UK), Salvesen Foods (UK) and Lutosa (BE) come under the Pinguin banner.
Pinguinlutosa food group
The PinguinLutosa Food Group sees the light: a frozen food group with eight production sites throughout Europe (BE, FR, UK) and sales offices worldwide.
Room for preserves
D’Aucy Frozen Foods (FR, HU, PL) and Scana Noliko (BE) become part of the PinguinLutosa Food Group.
The potato division of Lutosa is divested and the PinguinLutosa Food Group is maintained as Green Yard Foods. The new name underlines the international character of the group as well as the natural origin of the vegetables and fruit that are processed by the independent divisions of Pinguin (frozen foods) and Noliko (canned foods).
Greenyard Foods changes group structure
Herwig Dejonghe leaves Greenyard Foods and acquires Pinguin Aquitaine SAS.
Merger Greenyard Foods, Univeg and Peatinvest
Pinguin celebrates its 50th anniversary. As from the 19th of June Greenyard Foods, UNIVEG and Peatinvest merge into a unique leader in fruit and vegetables. With a total workforce of more than 8,150 people in 27 countries across the world the group realises a combined turnover of almost € 4 billion.