At the request of Tuinderij Vers, students from the fifth year of pre-university education (Dutch vwo) of the Emmauscollege (secondary school) devise new healthy convenience products for young people. This cooperation will enable Tuinderij Vers to gain a better insight into the needs of this young target group, and the students will get a first impression of the career opportunities in the food sector. Both the students of the Emmauscollege and Tuinderij Vers hope to come up with good ideas for a healthy snack and packaging options in June 2019.
Students feed Tuinderij Vers with information about the needs of young people
Students in need of an extra challenge can follow the M-Excellent programme at the Emmauscollege. In groups of four, the students work on an assignment for a business. In this way, students will be able to get acquainted with the business sector at an early stage. Tuinderij Vers is one of the companies that likes to challenge the students. ‘Which healthy convenience products does the young generation need?’ is the central question of the research. ‘The students got off to an enthusiastic start,’ Krijn van der Bok, Commercial Manager at Tuinderij Vers, says. ‘We expect the students to provide us with an additional picture of the needs of young people aged between 15 and 25. And we hope that this will result in some good ideas for new healthy vegetable salads or snacks that young people can eat both on the go and at home. Moreover, we are also interested in learning about any sustainable packaging.’
Tuinderij Vers considers it important to link up as much as possible with the new generation and the changes in society. ‘The students are best placed to feed us with information about this new generation.’ In addition to this assignment for the Emmauscollege, Tuinderij Vers also offers internships for senior secondary vocational education (mbo) and higher professional education (hbo). ‘We would like to make young people enthusiastic about working in the food sector, hoping that we get the cream of the crop later and perhaps offer them a good job within Tuinderij Vers. There is a great need for well-trained and interested people in our sector,’ says Van der Bok.
Students inspire other young people to eat consciously and healthy
The students have also been inspired by the M-Excellent group that set up the Fibes NL video platform last year. With this platform, the students wanted to inspire other young people to eat healthy. ‘That really went very well, and that is why it seems fun to us to do something like this too,’ says Laura Lignos, fifth-year vwo student at the Emmauscollege, enthusiastically about the assignment at Tuinderij Vers. ‘I work in the supermarket myself and I see the products of Tuinderij Vers pass by on a daily basis. I had no idea how these products are made, so it is really nice to see it now.’ This assignment also fits fifth-year vwo student Arriyan Bager like a glove. From his own business, Arriyan develops fitness and nutrition plans. Arriyan: ‘What has already become clear from our research is that many young people would like to eat consciously and healthy, but that this is not yet fully accepted by the social environment. Together with the other students from the M-Excellent programme I want to ensure that young people are going to lead healthier and more conscious lives.’
Results expected in June
Both the students of the Emmauscollege and Tuinderij Vers hope to come up with good ideas for a healthy snack and packaging options in June. If you would like to be kept up to date, you can register for our newsletter at the bottom of this page or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Cooperation between education and the business community within the food sector
The food sector is going digital, is becoming sustainable, and is innovating at high speed. This international environment offers many opportunities to research institutions, educational institutions, employees and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Together with the business community and knowledge and educational institutions, Rotterdam Food Cluster is promoting the sector’s innovative capacity and preparing the new generation for the future.
About Tuinderij Vers
Tuinderij Vers is a modern vegetable-processing firm specialising in cutting, mixing and packaging fruit and vegetables to produce ready-made and ready-to-cook products. Tuinderij Vers delivers a range of ready-to-cook vegetables, mixed vegetables, mixed lettuce, raw vegetables and ready-made salad meals to wholesalers, supermarkets, and food services. Tuinderij Vers attaches great importance to food safety, hygiene, ease of use, and sustainability. The production is realised with modern machinery, sound arrangements with suppliers of raw materials, own transport, and enthusiastic and committed employees.
About Emmaus M(aatschappij)-Excellent (Society Excellent)
The Emmauscollege wants to encourage excellent students to get the best out of themselves. Fifth-year vwo students taking M-subjects can participate in the M-Excellent programme. This programme is intended for students who need an extra challenge and are up to it. Each year, the Emmauscollege selects around 12 fifth-year vwo students who can fill in part of their programme within the framework of the M-Excellent programme.