Grozette, founded in 1963, started out producing grated cheese and cheese biscuits in its early years. Now, exactly 60 years later, Grozette has bloomed to become a global cheese manufacturer specialised in grating and drying cheese for the retail, catering and industrial sectors in around 30 countries. Ewald Bontje, together with his associate, took over the reins in 2004 after a management buyout. You could say Ewald’s love for cheese has crossed over multiple generations, as both his grandfather, father, and uncle owned a cheese company. With the help of Vesper’s calculations, Ewald and his associate can better anticipate how milk production will develop, making it easier for Grozette to explain how prices are established.

Running with the big guns

Even though Grozette is still considered a relatively small player in the dairy market, Vesper helps Grozette run with the big guns. “A very smart move of Alexander, founder of Vesper” Ewald begins, “filling in missing data gaps with input from small and big players, and integrating different data sources onto one platform not only gives us a comprehensive overview of worldwide data, but it also allows us to compete with major players.” Since Vesper doesn’t buy or sell commodities, all the data on the platform is independent. In addition to being an independent market player, Vesper stands out as one of the unique platforms that provide calculations based on milk prices, a very underrated feature, according to Ewald. “An indispensable feature when it comes to forecasting production trends.”

“People often believe that cheese prices are established based on the milk price, but it is often actually the other way around ”

Calculating the unexpected

“People often believe that cheese prices are established based on the milk price, but it is often actually the other way around”, Ewald explains. “Vesper’s calculations help you calculate what producers are willing to pay for milk based on a commodity’s yield.” Ewald pulls out one of Vesper’s calculations. “Say you want to produce Gouda and Sweet Whey Powder, then Vesper’s calculations help you calculate the highest amount a producer can afford to pay for milk. They help me give a better sense of how the market will develop and a better sense of how competitors will behave, as these calculations are a huge determinant of how many products will be supplied in 4 to 6 weeks to come by manufacturers.”

Vesper’s datasets relate to each other – mix, match, and compare Vesper’s datasets correctly, and they tell the same story. “According to Vesper’s Production Volumes widget, for example, the butter production of the Netherlands in 2022 was the lowest production of butter we’ve seen over the last 5 years” Ewald explains. “Before this production trend was visible, Vesper’s calculation’s page gave us an indication that production would be likely to decline, since butter gave producers a lower yield compared to producing cheeses and powders. The production volumes help you verify the calculation’s output, implying that the calculations give you a predictive power over production levels – it showed us months in advance how production levels would move. All in all, Vesper’s calculations are one of many tools that help me explain to my customers how our prices are established.”

“If my market perspective is not aligned with that of my suppliers, Vesper’s analyses aid me in substantiating it. ”

Bridging Industries

Vesper is trusted by more than 2000 buyers, sellers, and traders worldwide working within a range of different industries. Ewald points out that some of his customers, like pizza bakers, whose core business isn’t in dairy, use Vesper similarly. “It’s nice to see how Vesper connects different industries with the same data. Looking at the same independent market information as my customers helps me save heaps of time substantiating certain prices, and setting up contracts.”

Together with using Vesper’s calculation page as a means for setting up customer and supplier contracts, Ewald also takes the latest market prices, (forecasted) milk production, and weekly analyses published on butter, milk powders, and cheeses into account. “Vesper’s market analyses provide me with an accurate depiction of the current state of the market and its anticipated trends for the upcoming two weeks. If my market perspective is not aligned with that of my suppliers, Vesper’s analyses aid me in substantiating it.”