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Ardo brings in a new shareholder, The Nest Family Office

Anouk Schoors
March 13, 2024

Ardooie, 13 March 2024

With the entry of The Nest Family Office as a minority shareholder, Ardo, world player in the production of fresh-frozen vegetables, herbs and fruits, reaffirms its aspirations for the future and its continued commitment to sustainability and quality. The family office of the Els Thermote family shares the long-term vision of the Haspeslagh family regarding the importance of food for a healthier world. Together, they want to continue Ardo’s sustainable growth and strengthen its position as a global leader in fresh-frozen plant-based products.

The arrival of The Nest Family Office comes with a limited reshuffling of the family shareholdership. On the one hand, Xavier Haspeslagh has chosen to leave the shareholding after a period in which he was no longer involved in Ardo’s day-to-day activities. This decision allows him to fully focus on his own business. On the other hand, Ignace Haspeslagh has taken the opportunity to sell a limited portion of his stake in order to diversify his family branch’s assets. Both decisions are fully supported by the other family shareholders.

The remaining family branches have slightly increased their stake in Ardo. They also bring on board a like-minded partner: The Nest, the family office of the Els Thermote family. Together, they are setting a clear course to continue the growth of the world leader in fresh-frozen vegetables, herbs, and fruits.

Partners for sustainable growth

The food system is struggling with several challenges, including increasing pressure on natural resources, the need for more sustainable production methods and climate change manifesting in more extreme weather conditions. By focusing on regenerative agriculture and sustainability throughout the value chain, Ardo, in collaboration with The Nest, aims to meet the growing demand for sustainable, nutritious food. This strategy is not only directed at today’s nutritional needs but is a genuine commitment to provide healthy nutrition for generations to come.

The vision of The Nest seamlessly blends in with Ardo’s vision. The shared belief, focus and expertise provide the perfect foundation for a long-term collaboration. Together, the Haspeslagh family, Els Thermote and the team of The Nest will continue to support the international growth of Ardo, strengthening its leadership position in the various market segments – Food Service, Retail and Food Industry. In addition, both parties highly value family-based entrepreneurship and guarantee the local anchorage of Ardo.

Emilie Haspeslagh, Director Sustainability at Ardo and member of the third generation within the family business: “Our synergy with The Nest goes further than a shared vision on sustainability. Together, we help the market’s transition to sustainable agriculture and we work towards a future where sustainability and growth coexist. Our combined efforts will further strengthen and expand the company.”

Els Thermote, founder and CEO of The Nest: “For us, this marks the beginning of a long-term partnership. We look forward to contributing to the continued growth of Ardo, who, with its ambitious sustainability vision, is a true ‘gamechanger’ in the food industry and a perfect match for The Nest. Combining our expertise is the best recipe for the future. The family character of Ardo is also invaluable to us."

Future proof: stability and ambition going hand in hand

Ardo looks to the future with confidence. By partnering with a new, like-minded shareholder and by having the third generation of family shareholders take an even more active role, Ardo combines stability with sound ambition.

Jan Haspeslagh, chairman of the shareholder committee at Ardo and member of the second generation: “The past five years, we have faced climate challenges and various global crises. Thanks to our strong team of over 4,000 employees, we succeed in continuing Ardo’s growth trajectory. The combination of the Haspeslagh family and The Nest provides a strong foundation for the future. Together, we want to be an example for the food industry.”

Michel Haspeslagh, member of the board of directors of Ardo and part of the third generation: “The new generation of family shareholders is actively involved in Ardo. Many of us grew up in the fields and among the machinery, and some are also active within the company. Liesbeth and I represent the third generation on the board. Together with The Nest, who will further solidify the good governance of our company, we are now ensuring the necessary stability with the aim of sustainably driving Ardo’s growth.”