Flying turnover – VET Schroeder Tollisan
The Belgian vet Dr. Vincent Schroeder, who specialises in racing pigeons, and the German pigeon breeder Johannes Jakobs, owner of the pigeon fancier’s company Tollisan which is based in Germany, had known one another through their shared hobby for several years. In 2010 they decided to collaborate.
In Kerkrade (in the Netherlands), they merged into a new pigeon company called VET Schroeder Tollisan B.V. This created a powerful combination of a veterinary practice and a company that focusses on supplying vitamins and medicines for pigeons. Personalised and quality leadership, superlative products, continuous improvement of the quality and direct and rapid delivery within 24 to 48 hours all contribute towards the success. Dr. Vincent Schroeder and his partner Johannes Jakobs both come from families of pigeon fanciers. The blood of the pigeon fancier runs in their veins. Dr. Vincent Schroeder initially worked in a laboratory after completing his studies. Johannes Jakobs trained as a banker and then worked in the pharmaceutical industry for almost 15 years. The combination of businessman and vet is key to the success of the company. The pair are also actively involved in the sport and are among the best in their respective countries.
“Pigeon racing is more than a serious hobby; there is a high-performance culture”, says Jakobs. “I’d call it a top sport. Professional pigeons can fly 1,200 kilometres and need high quality products and care in order to stay on form. Pigeon fanciers want the very best for their pigeons; just good is not good enough. We therefore want to continuously improve our products.”
In reply to the question of why they are based in Kerkrade, Jakobs answers: “We were looking for a place for our activities, a central location for our clients and a spot that was also accessible for us, from our homes in Germany and Belgium. Kerkrade is located between three countries and is close to both Germany and Belgium. Our practice clients are located in a radius of approximately 100 to 200 kilometres around us and come from all three countries. Another advantage of the Netherlands, is that the legislation relating to veterinary products is very clearly defined. In Belgium where pigeons are still eaten, it is much more complicated.”
A big world
An significant share of the company’s increasing turnover comes from the webshop, where customers across the globe can buy products. A new product (sodium hypochlorite) is a disinfectant for drinking water, which reduces the chance of infections when transporting pigeons. The risk of inadequate water hygiene has been underestimated for years, according to Jakobs and this is where there are opportunities to increase turnover. The most significant turnover growth, however, lies in China. “The growth of the Chinese market is unbelievable; top pigeons are sometimes sold there for € 100,000 or more. Chinese pigeons also require top quality products, preferably from us of course,” Jakobs adds with a smile.
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