Cretel celebrates 50 years

Cretel by ATS, the Belgian manufacturer of skinning machines and industrial washing and drying installations, celebrates its golden jubilee.

Half a century of yield and performance

Cretel by ATS, the Belgian manufacturer of skinning machines and industrial washing and drying installations, celebrates its golden jubilee. What started as the passion of one man has grown into an internationally established value. Quality, customisation and a focus on design and development have proven to be the recipe for success over the past 50 years as well as the formula for the future.

Half a century ago, the Belgian ‘Meetjesland’ (a historical region in the province East Flanders) was the home of the newly founded Cretel. Who would have thought then that the small one-man business would grow into a company with international scope and dealers in more than 20 countries? After 50 years, the dream of an East-Flemish entrepreneur has become reality.


From one-man business to international success

Bassevelde, 1972: Jérôme Cretel founds the public limited company Cretel in his parental home. With this company he specialises in skinning machines for the meat and fish industry. The production of the machines starts after moving to Sint-Kruis in the Netherlands. But it is only when he returns to Eeklo in Belgium that his company becomes a global success with offices in Singapore and New Jersey. In 2005 Jérôme leaves his life’s work behind but this does not mean the end of the brand, on the contrary!


Collaborations strengthen the brand

Various collaborations ensure the further professionalisation of the Cretel activities. For example, ‘Eliona Industrial’ was born in 2007 from a merger with the industrial branch of the Belgian SME Eliona nv. It offers Cretel the opportunity to further expand its division of industrial washing and drying installations. Four years later, the takeover by ATS Group provided a new impulse: both the skinning and washing and drying machines now wear the name ‘Cretel by ATS’. The company can rely on various specialties within one strong group of companies. And that has its advantages.


Focus on design and development

“The Cretel machines are known for their excellent quality. We hear very regularly that a customer has been using his machine for over 20 years without any problems”, says Guy Persyn, Division Manager Mechatronics at Cretel by ATS.

“The basis is a permanent focus on design and development. To gather the necessary input for improvements, we always listen to what the customer really needs. In cooperation with our Business Unit Machinery, we then try to further optimise the Cretel machines. A good example is the new generation of manual fish and meat skinners F360M and M360M.The production of the machines also takes place under our own management, which allows us to closely monitor the quality and continuously optimise the process. This is paying off: we notice that ‘made in Belgium’ is more and more seen as a quality label abroad.”


Fit for the next 50 years

In addition, the group is also mindful of its wider social responsibility. “We notice that sustainability plays an increasingly important role”, Guy continues. “Our customers, but also we as a manufacturer, are keen to contribute to this. In 2019 we therefore moved Cretel and the other mechatronic activities of ATS Group to a new production site in Ghent. The building is CO2-neutral and serves as an example for future production sites of the group.”

“But of course the success of a company does not depend solely on its product and processes. It’s mainly the people who make the difference, and Cretel is very lucky in that respect. The international environment demands a lot from our colleagues: different standards for the machines, frequent trips abroad, requests coming in around the clock and a great talent for languages are just some of the challenges they have to deal with every day. Fortunately, we can count on a solid team that gives its best every day. Together with, and especially thanks to, this enthousiastic team, we are looking forward to the next 50 years”, concludes Guy.


About Cretel by ATS

Cretel, a subsidiary of ATS Group, produces innovative quality products and equipment with a focus on food, pharmaceutical and agro-industry: cutting machines for fish, meat and poultry and industrial washing and drying equipment for crates, containers, molds, etc.

Quality and service are very important to Cretel. Its goal is to continuously strive for a qualitative, efficient and affordable solution for customers at home and abroad. The Cretel products are internationally renowned. The headquarters and production facilities are located in Ghent (Belgium). Cretel counts around 40 employees and is supported daily by a worldwide sales network of dealers. More information at


More information

Guy Persyn, Division Manager Mechatronics,, +32 9 338 00 11

Cretel by ATS

Langerbruggekaai 15

9000 Ghent