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6 companies from Flanders nominated for 2022 Export Lion Award

Every year since 2002, Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) has been celebrating Flanders-based companies with excellent international track records by presenting the Export Lion Awards. For the 2022 edition, the names of six nominees have been shortlisted by a professional jury. In the ‘Companies with up to 49 employees’ category, CRV Corthouts, XenomatiX and Twipe Mobile Solutions will be contending for the win. Meanwhile, Bogaerts Greenhouse Logistics, Lambo Laboratories and Kipco-Damaco will be going for the gold in the ‘Companies with 50 or more employees’ category. These are their stories!

Which 2022 nominees will claim a spot in the Export Lion hall of fame?

Nominees in the ‘Companies with up to 49 employees’ category

1. CRV Corthouts charms the world with organic cake for children

Based in Diest (Flanders), CRV Corthouts launched an organic cake for children as early as 1985. Although the consumer trend to buy organic did not establish itself until years later, the family business has remained true to its sustainable vision ever since its inception. Continuous investments in the production equipment, quality control and product innovation ultimately resulted in the company’s international breakthrough in the niche of organic baby and children’s cakes. 

The company has experienced a lot of growth in the past five years, especially abroad: 95% of its turnover comes from exports, with the EU and the UK as the main focus. A product launch in Australia and New Zealand has also proved very promising.

2. Twipe makes reading digital newspapers a real breeze

Twipe Mobile Solutions, a tech player from Heverlee (Flanders), provides software to over 80 newspapers in 13 countries: from Le Monde to The Telegraph and The Daily Mail. Twipe’s SaaS application enables readers to browse digital newspapers in a user-friendly way on web browsers and mobile apps. The technology also enables publishers to monitor reading behavior and offer readers customized news selections. 

The company is active in Flanders’ neighboring countries, Italy, Scandinavia, the UK and the US, together accounting for a 92% share of its turnover. In addition to developing software, Twipe positions itself as a thought leader within its niche, by participating in scientific research projects, for example. 

3. XenomatiX has a laser focus on smart innovation

Another nominee from Heverlee (Flanders), born global company XenomatiX specializes in multi-beam LiDAR technology, a laser system that emits tens of thousands of laser beams simultaneously to detect objects and accurately estimate distances. Multi-beam LiDAR has applications in smart cities, infrastructure and the manufacturing industry, but XenomatiX’s target market is the automotive industry, where the system is used in driver assistance systems and self-driving vehicles

More than three quarters of its turnover comes from exports. XenomatiX focuses on major automotive countries such as Germany, the US, China, Japan and South Korea. 

Nominees in the ‘Companies with 50 or more employees’ category

1. Bogaerts Greenhouse Logistics cultivates automation for higher yields

At Bogaerts Greenhouse Logistics, an engineering company from Hoogstraten (Flanders), everything revolves around products and technologies for the automation of manual activities in greenhouse cultivation. From harvesting carts and spraying machines to sorting and packaging lines: the company develops and manufactures all systems in-house and exports them to over 40 countries.  

Bogaerts Greenhouse Logistics also has its own R&D center, including a test greenhouse to try out prototypes in a realistic working environment. It also works with educational institutions on innovation projects, such as a harvesting robot for peppers.

2. Kipco-Damaco rules the roost in food production and exports

Kipco-Damaco from Oostrozebeke (Flanders) produces mechanically deboned poultry meat (MDM) for further processing into products such as frankfurter sausages and various deep-fry nuggets. The company also supplies frozen vegetables, meat, fish and French fries for the retail and food services segments. Finally, Kipco-Damaco recovers by-products from poultry production and processes them into functional building blocks for aquaculture and nutrient and animal feed producers.

With 83% of its turnover coming from exports, the group has established its own network of sales offices in Singapore, Brazil, India, China, Vietnam and other countries. Besides its HQ in Oostrozebeke, it operates production sites in Poland and France.

3. Lambo Laboratories is firmly in charge with its softgels

Flanders’ only producer of soft gelatin capsules (softgels), Lambo Laboratories was founded back in 1865. Today, the Wijnegem company focuses on highly complex tailor-made formulas and exports to 30 countries. In addition to pharmaceuticals, the capsules are marketed in the niche of food supplements for humans and small pets. 

Lambo Laboratories strongly commits to product and process innovation, including a softgel based exclusively on vegetable gelatin, a halal line and a new production process for its pharma products. 78% of its turnover comes from exports. 

Who will win? 

With the announcement of these nominees, the Export Lion competition is moving into the next phase. During the second jury round in September, the six nominated companies will present their competition files to a final jury. 

Afterward, on 14 September 2022, Flanders’ Minister-President Jan Jambon and newly appointed FIT CEO Joy Donné will announce the winners during a prestigious ceremony in the city of Leuven. To be continued! 

More info

Leeuw van de Export
Reported by
Flanders Investment & Trade
14 June 2022

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