BRÄNNARP. The family company Hafi, Hallands Fruktindustri, one of Sweden’s largest producers of jam and juice with Swedish berries, has had growing pains. The solution is spelled a production investment worth SEK 30 million. “We are investing so that we can double sales,” says CEO and owner Marcus Bjurklint.Published: 18 July 2022, 22:35For over 80 years The Bjurklint family has processed fruit and berries here in Hallännp’s Brännarp, outside Getinge. Hafi, Hallands Fruktindustri, has grown from a local temple to a modern food manufacturer. Where the temple was once housed, there is now a farm shop with the company’s own delicacy assortment of jams, juices and BBQ sauces that are sold in delicatessens and for export. And in the former office building there is a café that serves waffles with jam and cream.Hafi sells its own range of jams, juices and BBQ sauces to consumers. The best seller is Mango with coconut and chili. Photo: Jack Mikrut “The farm shop attracted many visitors during the pandemic and then we also opened the café. But we’re still something of a doldis around here. Not many people know that we are, for example, one of Sweden’s largest manufacturers of lingonberry jam with berries from the Swedish forests “, says CEO and owner Marcus Bjurklint who is the fourth generation in the company. Inside the farm shop, a glass wall has therefore been installed for production so that customers can see how the lingonberry jam you cook is automatically filled into glass jars. The jam cooker Daniel Lingårdsson and CEO Marcus Bjurklint are helped to add refilled lingonberries to the jam cooker. In one year, approximately 2,000 tonnes of Swedish lingonberries are consumed in Hafi’s production of lingonberry jam. Photo: Jack MikrutBut first visitors who come to Hafi see is the spectacular copper-clad staff house that links the farm shop with the 3,000 square meter production facility. This construction was completed in 2014 and cost SEK 40 M. ”We then invested in more production space and capacity because we wanted to grow. It was important to have staff rooms where everyone can meet during the day. It will also show us as a modern food industry to attract labor here. And the copper façade is a tribute to our history when jam was boiled in copper vessels, ”says Marcus Bjurklint.Hafi’s copper-clad staff house. Photo: Jack Mikrut The business has since been scaled up. And what was previously manufactured by contract manufacturers is now produced in Hafi’s plant. The staff has increased from 20 to 40 employees. With the introduction of three shifts, 7,500 tonnes per year are now produced from tailor-made fruit, berry and vegetable preparations for other food companies in the dairy, ice cream, bread and bakery segments. Among other things, Hafi collaborates with Sia Glass in Slöinge and supplies its ice cream boats with strawberry jam made from Swedish strawberries. ”Developing new products together with our customers is the creative process we are passionate about. Every year, we produce almost 400 samples. ”For the past three years, they have also started collaborating with customers such as Ica, Axfood and Lidl and producing for their brands, so-called private label production. It has become so successful that the company once again needs to invest in more production capacity. ”Manufacturing for private labels is relatively new to us, but we already have growing pains. Demand is greater than our capacity. That is why we are now investing SEK 30 million in more production equipment that will be delivered in the first quarter of 2023, ”he says.You can increase the production We are not a small company but also not a huge one in the food industry, so in order to be competitive, we must constantly find ways to automate and streamline operations. ”Photo: Jack MikrutHafi had sales of SEK 210 million last year and the forecast is SEK 250 million for 2022. With the new investment, the company should be able to reach SEK 500 million in sales within five years, according to Marcus Bjurklint. When he took over the company in 2001 from father Hans Bjurklint, sales were 50 SEK m. ”I was 26 years old then and thought this seemed fun and maybe it was because I never felt compelled to take over the family business. And Dad has always been there as a good support. ”Marcus emphasizes that an important part of Hafi’s success is a long-term sustainability work that started even before he took over the company. And since a few years ago, the company’s commitment based on the Food Industry’s Sustainability Manifesto is reported in an annual sustainability report. ”Since environmental work is also smart financially, it has been obvious to reduce waste, reduce energy use, reduce transport costs and use recyclable packaging. We have done a lot but are humble in the face of this work never being completed “, says Marcus Bjurklint. we become self-sufficient. For heating in production, we use bio-oil, which is a residual product from fryers around Europe. “But at the same time, the purchase price of glass jars has been raised.” Our suppliers manufacture glass jars with natural gas, the price of which has also skyrocketed. “Lingonberry jam is filled into glass jars. Photo: Jack Mikrut Social responsibility is also an important ingredient. As 80 percent of the raw material you buy is berries such as lingonberries, blueberries, cloudberries and sea buckthorn picked in Sweden by seasonal workers mainly from Thailand, you require full traceability from your suppliers. ”In addition to our own controls, the berries we buy are also KRAV berries, which gives another inspection body that the berry pickers work under decent conditions. “What is your ambition with the company?
“There is a lot left to do and I want to see how big this can be. But as we grow, it is important to maintain the entrepreneurial spirit with the short decision paths and continue to be fast-paced and creative. We must not grow faster than we can maintain this, otherwise we will have to slow down the growth rate “, says Marcus Bjurklint.Morgan Andersson places lingonberry jam jars on pallets for delivery. Every day, a truck with a trailer leaves the factory full of jam, juice and jam. Photo: Jack Mikrut
Hafi, Hallands Fruktindustri
Owner: Marcus BjurklintTurnover 2021: 210 Mkr.Profit after net financial items: SEK 5.9 million.Employees: 40.
What is the most important election issue for you and your company?
“The conditions for running a company in Sweden are good, but something must be done to get more young people into work. We ourselves use a recruitment company to find the right skills, but the recruitment process should be made easier so that companies dare to give more young people their first chance in the labor market “, says Marcus Bjurklint.