NNZ, the 100-year-old Groningen family business and multinational, wants to revolutionise packaging
A well-kept secret: NNZ operates 24 subsidiaries in 18 countries, employing 250 people in the global packaging market for the agricultural, industrial and retail sectors. The company celebrates its centenary on 22 October 2022. What makes the story of this northern Netherlands company so special?
* A unique insight into the sustainable future of packaging
As an independent consultant and socially responsible company, NNZ, still wholly owned by the Boot family, has a unique vision of how the packaging market – a highly topical concern – can be completely reshaped. An example of this is the packaging it supplies to the Danish company Nordic Harvest, a pioneer in vertical farming. The future of packaging is nowhere more visible than in NNZ’s innovation department. This is where the future becomes an exciting, tangible present.
* Fourth generation of the Boot family gradually taking over the helm
NNZ started 100 years ago in the Libau warehouse in Groningen. Roos van Vugt was the first member of the fourth generation to join the company, six years ago. She was recently voted sales manager of the year 2022 by the Netherlands’ Sales Management Association. Roos’s motto: “Success is not in reaching the destination, but in making the journey.”. The second member of the fourth generation to continue the family business is Patrick Boot, who will become CFO of NNZ USA in October.
* Singularly socially responsible company committed to employee wellbeing
As a socially driven company, NNZ is a pioneer in this field with its own family charter, which includes many safeguards for its employees and for the company’s continuity. ‘We are a company with a family’ is how the current third generation expresses it. Employees have countless stories that testify to this – and that they see NNZ as one big family is demonstrated by the large number of employees with long service records.
* Investing in the future to continue to live up to ethical standards
Ethics is a word that means a lot to me, says CEO Len Boot. NNZ is committed to sustainability, good working conditions and the absence of child labour. The organisation also refuses to speculate on futures markets, for either raw materials or currencies. And it embraces in both letter and spirit the objective of the EU circular economy action plan to make all packaging recyclable, compostable or reusable in an economically viable manner by 2030. NNZ devotes particular attention to Bangladesh, a key jute-producing country. In late 2021, NNZ-funded construction began on a school in one of Bangladesh’s poorest areas. The school will be opened by NNZ in October 2022.
For further information, please contact:
CEO Len Boot
9723 JJ Groningen
Telefoon: +31 (0)50 5207830
Our 1st decade revolved around pioneering: Founder Rien Boot (1889-1964) brings the story of NNZ (Noord Nederlandsche Zakkenhandel) to life in 1922. The first branch being the warehouse in Groningen called Libau, soon followed in 1924 by a building on the Hoornsche Diep in Groningen. Pioneering steps include: trips abroad to the Baltic States, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Also, the purchase of jute bags and jute cloth in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. In 1928 a turnover was made of NLG 334,000.
Our 2nd decade revolved around exploring. Leendert Boot (1911-1972) travelled to every corner of Europe for business opportunities. In 1939 he even visited America, where he established contacts with a sugar factory. In America, he purchased paper and cotton sugar sacks, which he shipped to the Netherlands via the Holland America Line.
Our 3rd decade revolved around dedication. In order to meet growing demand, after the war Leendert once again started his travels. In 1947 he purchased jute bags in America and Canada. Multiwall paper bags were added to the assortment and a joint venture was initiated with the American Chase Bag company in response to the development of Spain as a key sales market for onion bags.
Our 4th decade revolved around reliability. Reliable deliveries and business integrity drive the company forward. In 1954, Rien Boot’s second son, Wim Boot, joined the company. In 1957, NNZ had around 50 employees and celebrated the opening of a new location with the 1st jute printing machine.
Our 5th decade revolved around changes, the 1960s were hallmarked by NNZ embarking on new avenues. New packaging materials – such as lino sacks, multiwall paper sacks, cardboard, polypropylene and polyethylene started to play an increasingly important role. Following the departure of Mr. Boot Sr. on 1 December 1961, Leendert and Wim Boot became directors of NNZ.
Our 6th decade revolved around rebranding NNZ. In 1970 Wim Boot decided to change the name 'Noord Nederlandsche Zakkenhandel N.V.' into 'NNZ industrial packaging bv.'. This was decided because of the increasing international contacts and the product range that was no longer been limited to bags but included many other types of packaging.
Our 7th decade revolved around the start of geographic expansion. In 1983, the company opened its first office in Germany, and two years later it opened its own sales office in Roswell, Georgia, under the management of Marco Boot. By 1998, NNZ had 100 employees, 14 international branches and doubled its turnover in five years to approximately NLG 100 million.
Our 8th decade revolved around repositioning. Len Boot joined NNZ and repositioned NNZ as an independent advisor that offered the best packaging solutions for its customers and skipped its own production. He started a research and development department which led to a series of award-winning packaging products such as Carry-Fresh, Liqui-Sorb and Twin-Bag.
Our 9th decade revolved around a new vision. In June 2002, a new logo and tag-line were introduced: NNZ the packaging network. NNZ grew into the hub of an international network of producers, packers, distributors, universities, governments and customers. From 2004, Len Boot, the third generation, led the company. On 11 May 2007, NNZ opened a new and sustainable office in Groningen for NNZ Benelux and the NNZ Group. ISO and BRC certifications crowns the quality of the company's processes and products.
Our 10th decade revolved around multinational. NNZ is a market leader for transport, wholesale and consumer packaging for produce. The company continues its growthpath in industrial packaging. The company reached a turnover of €170 million, employs 250 people and has 22 own subsidiaries in 18 countries. The company also has an international network of companies with which it cooperates in more than 50 countries around the world.
Today, NNZ continues to grow ias a multinational packaging company serving customers in produce and industrial markets through its strategy of customer intimacy and service, with emphasis on sustainability and innovation in all aspects of our activities. NNZ has been reshaping itself, its products and services since 1922, and has only just begun!
Since 1922 NNZ has been reshaping packaging. Not only by creating innovative solutions for our customers, but also by reshaping the NNZ organization continuously. We created a film called ‘100 years of NNZ’ in which we display exactly how we have been reshaping and innovating packaging in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
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