“Moving the plant has never been an option for us,” says Frank Dechering, commercial director of Lassie. In 1893, Albert and Jacob Adriaan Laan founded what was then called Mercurius, and built the first ever steam-powered peeling company, in Wormer, along the Zaan River. “Back then, the Zaan area was the industrial heart of the Netherlands. Here were all the mills that processed grains. It was the start of the innovative spirit that still forms the basis of our company,” he continues. “Because the plant is still on the Zaan River, we can use ships to deliver the rice to us. One ship equals 40 truckloads, so that reduces a lot of traffic and emissions.” At the start in 1893 the company mainly peeled groats, soon followed by oatmeal and rice.