It is with deep sadness that Serac Group announces the passing away of its founder Jean-Jacques Graffin, and CEO of Serac Holding, on November 6, 2021, at the age of 85.
Jean-Jacques Graffin, a passionate man who has put innovation at the heart of his development strategy.
Born into a family of craftsmen, Jean-Jacques Graffin, an engineer from “Arts & Métiers” school, began his career in the early 1960s in public works, first in Senegal and then in Cameroon. But it was in France that success awaited him.
In May 1966, he joined Nova-Socimec, a company specializing in the manufacture of milk pumps and taps and designed a filling machine for plastic bottles for a small dairy in France. At the time, there was no supplier of this type of equipment for small dairy farms. The sales of these machines were increasing… but an idea was born in the mind of this engineer.
An idea that he put into practice by creating the first weight filler in the food industry. Serac was born in June 1969.
Although he expected a difficult start, success was immediate. He sold 6 machines in 6 months. In 1977, Serac created the first aseptic filling line for the filling of milk in plastic bottles in partnership with another manufacturer and developed weight filling machines in 1978.
Then the idea of creating a production unit abroad began to take hold. He was advised to go to the United States. The US subsidiary was created in 1981 and the Brazilian subsidiary was created in 1985. Then came the turn of Asia in 1994, with the creation of Serac Asia in Malaysia. In 2004, he bought Nova-Socimec which he had left to found Serac.
A man who grew his company with passion and who, in parallel of business, liked to fly his own plane to certain trade shows, but also to play samba and mambo tunes on the piano, an instrument he had already played in the orchestra of the “Arts & Métiers” school.
With 14 subsidiaries and more than 600 employees worldwide, Serac Group has become, in just over 50 years, a key player in the packaging world. The time when he signed his first contracts in his parents’ dining room seemed a long time ago.
Last September, Serac opened an office in Moscow and is preparing to open another one in Mexico. Jean-Jacques Graffin was supervising his company’s latest innovation, the BluStream® module, which allows the caps decontamination without chemicals.
The spirit of conquest and innovation has never left him.
1936: Born in La Ferté-Bernard (France).
1955: Entered the “Arts & Métiers” school in Angers (France).
1969: Founded Serac and developed the first weight filling machine for the food industry.
1977: Developed the first aseptic line for dairy products.
1980: Received the title of “Chevalier in the National Order of Merit”.
1981: Created the first Serac subsidiary in the United States.
2004: Bought out Nova-Socimec, which he had left to found Serac
2009: Winner of the “Nessim Habif” Prize.
2012: Launched the blowing activity for PET bottle.
2020: Supervised the operation of BluStream® Module, a chemical-free decontamination module for caps.
2021: Opened an office in Moscow.