An innovative cleaning solution based on green chemistry to optimise the hygiene of preparation areas and guarantee the well-being of employees.
Since February 2023, a new cleaning protocol has been in place in all Colruyt butchers. Employees now clean with an all-in-one enzymatic solution developed and manufactured in Louvain-la-Neuve by Realco. Thanks to this innovative cleaning product and the support of Realco’s experts, the environmental impact of cleaning workshops has been considerably reduced, operator effort time has been halved and hygiene has been improved to stay one step ahead of food safety requirements.
Goals: Reduce, rationalise and conserve resources
To reduce the impact of cleaning, a complete overhaul of the cleaning process is being implemented. “In terms of implementation, we have gone from 5 to 3 cleaning phases, which considerably reduces the amount of water used. Working with Realco, we have rethought the way we clean and made it as simple as possible. The product is so effective that it has replaced several other products,” says Philippe Vandenberghe, Head of Meat Experts at Colruyt MP. As well as reducing cleaning water consumption by 40%, the performance and versatility of the enzymatic cleaner-disinfectant means that the overall detergent consumption of the chain’s butchers can be rationalised. A single multi-purpose, multi-surface product with a low dosage reduces the pollution load of grey water, saves considerable storage space and requires less transport.
In addition to its impact on the environment, the well-being of its employees is one of the Colruyt Group’s priorities and one of the pillars of its sustainability policy. The Group takes numerous initiatives in terms of ergonomics and health in its shops. The company is constantly introducing improvements in this area, reducing stress at source as much as possible, but also introducing new solutions such as Realco’s enzyme technology. Combined directly with disinfection, the power of enzymatic cleaning lends a hand to staff in the daily cleaning of preparation areas. Effort time is now cut by 20 minutes every day.
Efficiency gains aren’t the only advantage for butchers. The pH-neutral solution has been dermatologically tested to ensure total respect for the health of operators. In addition, the solution used by the group guarantees deep cleaning. The enzymes restore the anti-slip effect and maintain the floors’ grip, helping to prevent and reduce the risk of accidents in the workplace.
… and more efficient
When it comes to both fresh and sensitive foods, it’s essential to comply with current standards in order to guarantee the quality of the preparations offered to consumers. Deep cleaning also enhances the quality of the food processed in butchers’ shops, ensures food safety and preserves product freshness.
Step by step towards sustainable hygiene
We had been looking for a committed, local and innovative partner for some time. Realco is a reliable partner that has convinced us with its high-performance solutions, expertise and support. The results of the various tests carried out in our butchers’ shops have brought satisfaction both to the operators, for whom the cleaning operation is now simpler, and to the Quality department, which has seen its microbiological results improve still further.Philippe Vandenberghe, Head of Meat Experts Colruyt MPchez Colruyt
The new methodology was successfully pilot tested in 15 butchers from July to December 2021. The roll-out to the Group’s 245 butcheries was carried out in October 2022 and was completed in February 2023.
“It is essential for us to give our partners the benefit of our know-how. Our mission at Realco is to respond to our customers’ socio-ecological challenges so that together we can build the hygiene of tomorrow”, explains Tania Florent, Food Services Market Manager. “We very quickly realised that our values were perfectly in line with Colruyt Group’s sustainable development action plan (their ‘Step by Step’ programme) and that our objectives in favour of the ecological transition were heading in the same direction”.
For the future, other avenues of collaboration may be envisaged between the two companies, in particular the extension of the solution to the Group’s other banners. This will enable this sector, already a growth area for the Walloon company, to see its growth accelerate while continuing to contribute to the ecological transition and ensuring high performance, safety and sustainability.
About Realco :
Located in the Louvain-la-Neuve Science Park, Realco develops, produces and markets hygiene products based on hygiene products based on green chemistry. Its vision is to co-create high-performance solutions for the ecological transition by enabling its customers to benefit from its cutting-edge technical and scientific expertise while ensuring high performance, safety and sustainability. With over 15% of sales invested in Research & Development, the company is fundamentally focused on innovation and offers its solutions to consumers, the food industry, institutional and commercial catering and Life Sciences. With more than 50 employees, Realco’s turnover is rising steadily. It can also count on its subsidiary in the United States (Realzyme) to boost its sales across the Atlantic.
About Colruyt Group
Colruyt Group is active in the distribution of food and non-food products in Belgium, France and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, with more than 700 directly operated shops and around 580 affiliated shops. In Belgium, these include Colruyt Meilleurs Prix, OKay, Bio-Planet, Cru, Dreamland, Dreambaby, Bike Republic and Spar shops. In France, the Group has Colruyt shops, as well as affiliated Coccinelle, Coccimarket and Panier Sympa shops. The group is a majority shareholder in The Fashion Society, which includes the clothing chains ZEB, PointCarré and The Fashion Store. JIMS operates fitness clubs in Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Solucious and Culinoa deliver foodservice and retail products to professional customers in Belgium (hospitals, SMEs, catering, etc.). Colruyt Group’s activities also include the supply of energy through DATS 24 in Belgium (fuels, natural gas and green energy) and France (fuels), as well as printing and document management solutions (Symeta Hybrid). The group employs more than 32,000 people and has sales of EUR 10.0 billion in 2021/22. Colruyt is listed on the Euronext Brussels stock exchange (COLR) under ISIN code BE0974256852.