1920 A difficult period
Life was hard in the peatlands of Groningen at the beginning of the 20th century. Cutting turf was very hard work for little money. There was little affordable nutritious food to eat.
1920-1930 Affordable food
In 1920 Sjoerd ten Kate started a wholesale business in cheese, bacon, fat and butter substitutes in Musselkanaal in order to meet the demand from local people, who had to perform heavy physical work, for affordable food that was rich in calories.
1930-1945 Crisis years and war
The firm of S. ten Kate started producing its own margarine and selling it under the brand name Crown margarine. The company also started rendering animal fats.
1945-1960 A new beginning
After the war, Sjoerd ten Kate had lost everything and had to start all over again. He initially concentrated on producing margarine, but quickly switched entirely to rendering fat.
1960-1970 A first patent
Ten Kate secured a patent for a process for crystallising fat that it had invented. The process was an enormous success and the company had difficulty keeping up with the demand. It was the start of a period of growth.
1970-1980 Growth in the Netherlands and Germany
In 1971 Ten Kate opened a fat rendering plant in Sögel, Germany. In the following years it expanded further in Germany with acquisitions in Delmenhorst and Kiel. In the Netherlands, the company bought a number of fat rendering plants and the famous Branbergen biscuit factory.
Ten Kate invented more new products and processes and in 1985 patented the process of enzymatic rendering. The company increasingly shifted its focus to the production of fats and proteins with a high added value.
1990-2000 Focus on quality
The company expanded further by making acquisitions and forming partnerships with abattoirs. Quality and food safety were key issues. Ten Kate was one of the first fat rendering companies in Europe to secure certification of its processes and products in accordance with the strict European food safety standards.
2001 A sustainable new business
Together with the German company Gelita and AFB from the United States, Ten Kate built a new production plant in Ter Apelkanaal. The companies integrated their processes to establish a sustainable eco-cluster and reduce CO2 emissions.
2008 Production of lard oil
Ten Kate developed a process for producing a liquid pork fat olein. This product, known as lard oil, is a natural product with numerous technical applications.
2011 A branch in Hong Kong
Ten Kate opened an office in Hong Kong to improve the service to customers in Asia. Sales of products in the Far East increased.
2014 New production facility for protein
This was the year when Ten Kate opened a new production facility for functional proteins. These functional proteins are sold to producers of food under the brand name MEPRO 85.
2018 Ten Kate Protein Technologies
On January 1st 2018 Ten Kate acquired the high-tech production site of Collapro proteins from Hulshof Protein Technologies. With this acquisition Ten Kate has now a strong position on the market of high quality pure functional pork proteins. From now on the protein activities will operate under the name Ten Kate Protein Technologies with the brand names Collapro and MEPRO 85. www.collapro.com
2017 – 2020
In 1920 Sjoerd ten Kate could never have suspected that in future generations the company he had founded would grow into one of Europe’s leading producers of high-quality animal fats and proteins with worldwide exports. An independent family-owned company that still bears his name and will soon celebrate its 100th anniversary.