By: Redactie 19 Jul, 2018

As an employer, Bakker Barendrecht wants to be at the forefront of human development. We work with passionate people to create a healthy, passionate product. This is not yet sufficiently apparent to the new generation. Karin Faase, HR Manager, and Nicole Machielse, Personnel advisor, explain how, together with other fruit and vegetable companies, they plan to put the agrifood sector more emphatically on the map.

Working passionately on a passionate product

At Bakker Barendrecht, people work with a huge amount of passion on a passionate, healthy product. The sharp customer focus is what characterises Bakker Barendrecht. For each issue, the client’s interests are considered by different departments so that everyone has an impact,’ says Karin Faase. Nicole Machielse chips in: ‘One of our core values is “we are passionate” and passion is exactly what we feel; for our people, our customers, our suppliers and our products.’

Green grape or red cherry?

A great deal of attention is paid to staff development. Nicole Machielse talks about the life-phase conscious personnel policy ‘ZiezO’, which is all about Sowing and Harvesting. The seed is sown in career interviews, so that it can be harvested at each phase. The green grape is at the beginning of its career and has yet to discover itself. The red cherry settles with a partner, and whether they have children plays an important role. The orange thinks about life and what to do next. And finally the golden pineapple, which experiences inner peace and stability and enters a period of new creativity. In all these phases we look at the fields of work & finance, learning & development, health & fitness, collaboration & leadership and family & social contacts. We take into account the needs of employees in the specific phase and deploy various instruments for this purpose.’

Bakker Barendrecht kruidenlijn

A 40-year employment record is not exceptional.

Karin Faase proudly explains: ‘A 40-year employment record is not exceptional. Many employees work here between the ages of 25 and 45. We have a great ‘magnet factor’. Because we’re rapidly expanding, we currently employ about 1,000 people on a busy day, there are many openings. But it’s important to be and remain self-reliant and keep asking about the possibilities. The fact that there are so many different departments and alternatives means that we’re able to keep our employees engaged for a long period of time. Many people don’t want to do the same thing for their entire working life. There are also international opportunities because we are a member of Greenyard and, as Bakker, also operate in the Czech Republic and on the Belgian market.

'Young people take a different approach to 'healthy' eating; we expect them to stimulate us with their original ideas during the Market Match in October.'

Nicole Machielse Personnel advisor Bakker Barendrecht

Human Capital Pool for job security in the food sector

Bakker Barendrecht is taking part in a number of projects initiated by the Rotterdam Food Cluster. Karin Faase tells us about their participation in the Human Capital Pool pilot. ‘With this project we want to give people a low-threshold way of exploring the sector and to offer job security. The fruit and vegetable sector is of a highly cyclical nature: high peak in the summer months and fewer jobs in the winter. By joining forces within the fruit and vegetable sector and counter-cyclical companies, we expect greater stability, which will enable us to offer job security and facilitate growth and development. It’s not always known, but the fruit and vegetable sector offers many great opportunities. One of the reasons why students like to follow a traineeship at Bakker Barendrecht is its sustainable character. It’s a really meaningful job, because you’re working with people’s everyday diet and lifestyle. Together with other fruit and vegetable companies in the Rotterdam Food Cluster, we want to put the sector on the map more emphatically, because together we can play a meaningful role for the entire sector.’

Would you like to know more about or take part in the Human Capital Pool pilot? For more information click here.

Market Match: innovative ideas for the fruit and vegetable sector

In addition to the Human Capital Pool, Bakker Barendrecht collaborates with other renowned fruit and vegetable companies in Market Match. During this 48-hour event on 4 and 5 October, young people are challenged to come up with innovative ideas for the food sector. Young people have very different ideas about ‘healthy’ eating and we expect them to stimulate us with original ideas. And it works both ways: we hope that this will open up a whole world for them. Fortunately, more and more people who contribute to health and sustainability are choosing to work for companies in our sector, instead of just going for a familiar name,’ says Nicole Machielse.

After a number of inspiration sessions with fellow sector members in preparation for the Market Match, each party seems to be pursuing the same social goal. ‘We have a fantastic product, one that contributes to a healthier world, but not enough people know about it. What could be more frustrating? By involving young people – the consumers of the future – in these challenges, we hope to gain their enthusiasm for the food sector and put their ideas into practice in order to improve our products and services. We want to make it easy for the current generation of parents to eat and give their children vegetables by introducing snack cucumbers and tomatoes, but we also want to come up with similar innovations for the new generation of parents. I expect that the energy and creativity of young people will give us a great deal of inspiration. Hopefully this will lead to innovations such as meal packages and snack vegetables or ways to be even more sustainable’, says Nicole Machielse.

For more information about Market Match:

Sustainable chain leads to competitive product and innovation

Supermarket chain Albert Heijn, Bakker Barendrecht and the fruit and vegetable growers for decades taken a new approach to contributing to making the agricultural chain more sustainable and the future more healthy for all players in the chain. Karin Faase on the role of Bakker Barendrecht in the chain. ‘As chain director, we stand for a strong chain in which we bring growers and consumers together. It’s great to see sustainable initiatives in the world and to connect the right parties with each other. Our cooperation is characterised by sustainability.

Making a real difference

Bakker Barendrecht mainly operates behind the scenes, explains Karin Faase. Many of the innovations on our customers’ shelves are co-created. An example of a sustainable innovation is the top seal packaging on fruit to replace the plastic lid. This saves us an annual amount of packaging material comparable to 6.5 million 1.5 litre PET bottles. That really makes a difference! We work on this in multidisciplinary teams, together with our chain partners, so that we can come up with integral innovations that are easy to implement. We’re also increasingly focusing on in-depth specialism by offering training courses. Employee diversity is another important aspect. This enables us to work more smartly together.’