The Versele family's extraordinary entrepreneurial story began in 1932. Anyone celebrating its ninetieth anniversary can look back with pride on a life story written by four generations and hundreds of passionate employees. Its pioneering work laid the foundations for a family business that today produces high-quality food and care products for millions of domestic and performance animals around the world.
From China, Hungary and the United States to the headquarters in Astene where it all began, machines grind, mix, press, sort and extrude non-stop. Versele-Laga's 1,100 employees around the world are driven by the same passion: nurturing the bond between people and their pets with high-quality products and advice every day.
Prudent Versele started 'De Gulden Ster', a wholesale grocery business, in the Kapellestraat in Astene. That was the start of the Versele family's remarkable entrepreneurial story. In this wholesale business, Prudent Versele started trading and mixing livestock feed. The demand quickly outgrew the supply, and in 1937, he decided to build a first cattle feed factory. The laying of the foundation stone on Rechteroever, or Right Bank, in Astene was the start of a fine history of growth and success. In 1957, the first expansion of the factory took place, and the capacity was increased to 200,000 tons of bagged goods per year.
Over four generations, Prudent Versele's life's work was systematically expanded, wings were added to the factory in Deinze and production capacity was increased each time. Prudent Versele's sons not only expanded the factory, but also embarked on an acquisition spree. In the mid-1960s, Versele merged with an animal feed factory in Hasselt, but it was the merger of 30 December 1966 that still resonates today. On that day, Versele merged with Joseph LagaHoutekier's factory. Two years after Prudent Versele, Laga- 2 Houtekier built a feed factory on the Roeselare-Leie canal. Laga's head office was moved to Deinze, and the combination became known as Versele-Laga.