'De Fakkel' burns at Spaas in 2020


Spaas was awarded the ‘De Fakkel’ prize. That is a prize that Voka, the Limburg Chamber of Commerce, awards each year to a family business with an exceptional track record. It’s a recognition that we are really proud of. And let’s be honest: who should the jury award the ‘De Fakkel’ torch to, but a business that makes candles?

What is 'De Fakkel'? 

At the Voka event for Limburg family businesses, Ben and Sarah Spaas received the De Fakkel from Paul Kerkhofs, vice-chairman of Voka, the Limburg Chamber of Commerce.

Each year, the Limburg Family Business Centre at Voka presents De Fakkel to a Limburg family business that deals wisely with its continuity and has implemented a clear governance policy. Spaas was the winner of the prize this year and was chosen out of three nominees.

Voka, Limburg Chamber of Commerce, awards the prize to put the spotlight on family businesses that are good examples. The award name is derived from the saying ‘passing on the torch’. And, of course, the torch is a symbolic ‘shining example’.


The nominated

De Blauwe Vogel, Haletra, and Spaas were selected based on specific criteria. One of the most important conditions for nomination is that the family business goes back at least two generations. Of course, it’s also important that the family takes an active role in the business and holds the majority of shares. 

‘The organisation and structure of the family business show that the Spaas family considers family governance of paramount importance.’

Besides governance, family culture, and continuity, the jury also looks at themes, such as financial performance, internationalisation, innovation, and social involvement.


Continuity and family governance

Axelle Henrard explained the choice on behalf of the jury: ‘What started in 1853 as a small wax bleacher for whitening candles for churches and abbeys, grew over five generations into an international company active in 40 countries. So far, the Spaas family has successfully guaranteed continuity for five generations. ‘The organisation and structure show that the family considers family governance of paramount importance.’


Sarah and Ben Spaas received the award. They spoke of their win as follows: 

‘This recognition makes us really proud and it gives the family even more confidence that we will continue to grow our wonderful company together with our staff. Sarah and I feel a lot of gratitude because our parents gave us the confidence to grow our company. We are also grateful because we are passionate about working with our products every day.’ – Ben Spaas

Spaas takes over De Fakkel from Nelissen Brickworks that won the award in 2019.

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