Jan de Cocq studies ichthyology before setting up his own aquatics shop, Sea Horse. Unimpressed by the efficacy of the aquatic remedies on the market, he begins doing his own research with help from a friendly pharmacist.
Jan launches eSHa products - the 'SH' after his shop's name Sea Horse - in Maastricht, the Netherlands in 1964. eSHa was officially registered in the Chamber of Commerce in 1968, making it 50 years old in 2018!
Development begins with the production of a landmark product - today known as eSHa 2000 - that treats fungi, bacteria, fin rot and more. Thanks to its popularity, more products are added to the range, eliminating more specialized diseases.
As word spread, demand grows and eSHa evolves into a wholesaler and production company. It branches out into making glass aquariums, importing accessories from the Far East and sets up a plastic blow-mould facility for aquarium filters and other products in Maastricht.
A decision is made to take eSHa back to its roots and focus on what it does best. eSHa rationalises its product portfolio, and sells its wholesale operations, print shop and aquarium and accessories manufacturing facilities. All attention turns to research, consultancy, medicine production and more.
The aquarium and pond markets experience strong growth in the UK and across Europe. eSHa responds, investing in more manufacturing facilities and increased mechanization.
eSHa introduces a world-first: the five-in-one eSHa AQUA-QUICK-TEST, an easy-to-use dip testing measuring nitrate, nitrite, GH, KH and pH. The latest version is a six-in-one test, which adds chlorine to the list.
The Dutch Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture make it mandatory for manufacturers to hold manufacturing licenses for the production of medicines for fish.
Regulations over medicines are tightened across Europe, which sees a major shake-up in the industry. The Dutch government is one of the first to implement the new EU laws, using the big pharmaceutical companies as a template. As a result, 90% of Dutch veterinary medicine producers and manufacturers cease production. eSHa was able to stay in business, but had to build a new manufacturing site and install new quality control labs. However, this meant eSHa was able to improve their products and ensure quality that meets the newest and highest standards in the industry.
Today eSHa employs 25 staff members across its 1,800 m² production facility and has two warehouses. Although Jan de Cocq died in 2009, eSHa is still family owned. Research and production are solely concerned with health care products and supplements for ornamental fish, products to combat aquatic snails and algae, aquatic plant supplements, and water test strips. The company believes in specializing in what they do best. Research and new product development is ongoing, and the UK will soon have access to 18 products.
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