for the fresh
Opening HQ Breda
June 15, 2019
Read online: www.aartsen.com
Foreword Jack Aartsen
All in the family!
This edition of our nonstopfresh
magazine is very special. We are
extremely proud of this issue. It even
has historical significance: as from today,
our name is Aartsen.
Who changes the name of their company? We do! Why? You will find
out in this magazine. I also hope that all of our people will proudly carry
and represent our name.
So much is happening with us! We are involved with many things and
I have to be honest: I sometimes wonder whether it is not getting to be
too much for our people. Fortunately, all of these things are positive and
stem from our success. During the past three years, we collectively
experienced the greatest growth in the history of our company.
Having been in business for a mere 112 years, experiencing steady
growth almost every year, now is the time. Never did I think or expect
that we would be where we are today, which is what makes me the
proudest. A phenomenal team achievement!
It is on the basis of this success that you can start thinking about things
such as expansion, renewal, improvement and innovation. In fact, we are
doing exactly that. We just put the finishing touches on our beautiful
Venlo branch. It is now a top-class branch with the best facilities that
you could wish for. In Belgium, we continue to grow steadily and we are
hatching new plans for expansion. We are also experiencing massive
growth in Hong Kong, while the rest of the world is watching us intently.
Finally, we are pleased to open our new head office in Breda; it is truly an
exceptional eyecatcher. In other news, dozens of people are investing an
incredible amount of time and energy into building our new ERP system,
our Blue Banana project. After the summer holidays, we will start building
a packaging warehouse in Breda and expand the warehouse offices.
Our Aartsen Kids Foundation continues to work towards the well-being
of children, while keeping to the sidelines in doing so. They deserve
centre stage and a wholehearted compliment for their efforts. In short,
the phrase ‘never a dull moment’ certainly applies to Aartsen!
When I do take the time to sit and reflect on everything that is happening,
I keep arriving at the same conclusion: we really do have a strong team!
After all, you can build the most impressive stadiums and lay the lushest
turf, but it all comes down to the players on the pitch. With that in mind,
we aim for the Champions League each and every year.
Every year nonstopfresh.
Now with a new name and a new head office. Now as one united family.
This is power. Yes, Jack, go ahead and pinch yourself, you are
I hope that you really enjoy this special edition, which will provide you
with good insights and exciting updates on Aartsen!
Jack Aartsen on the new name,
the head office, solidarity and the future
There are plenty of good reasons for sitting
down with Jack Aartsen at the impressive
wooden table in his office. Firstly, there is
his company’s name change: as of today,
it is Aartsen. Secondly, the official opening
of the new head office takes place today.
Both of these developments help to
strengthen the sense of family and solidarity.
Jack Aartsen talks about these developments
through the lens of four issues.
‘The name change is something I have been
thinking about for years. That is because the
name aartsenfruit does not really cover what
we do – it only tells part of the story. If you
take a look at the Benelux and our circle of
clients, it is obvious that we are aartsenfruit,
because we have a good reputation and
an established position in the sector. But in
recent years, when travelling in the rest of
the world, I have regularly experienced that
our name raises questions, especially when
I am telling someone about our company
for the first time. If I am talking to a fruit
producer, then it is fine, no problems or
questions. But if I am telling my story about
aartsenfruit to a vegetable grower,
then I frequently get asked why I am
interested in his products. After all,
what does a company with “fruit” in its
name have to do with vegetables?’
‘For some years now, I have known that the
name did not match the content, but I did
not feel an immediate need to change it.
When we started our nonstopfresh
campaign in 2016, my marketing people
told me that our company name actually
was not correct. In a way, they planted
the seed of change back then.
Since that moment, I have really given
it a lot of thought, but a name change is
not something you do on the fly, since
it involves so much.’
‘Now that the new head office is ready,
I have taken the leap and chosen a new
name. It is a good moment for a change.
To make sure we do this properly,
we are giving ourselves a year to transform
aartsenfruit into Aartsen. We are changing
all the external marketing material straight
away, but in practical terms it is difficult to
replace every pen, doormat and sticker.
And besides, it is no longer socially
acceptable to chuck something in the bin if
it has not been used up or still works well.’
‘Like I said, the most important reason
for the change was the confusion about
the fruit/vegetables issue. But there is
something else too. In 2002 we became
a true family business again, and with the
name change we underline the sense of
family even more.’
The new head office
‘Today we are opening the new head office,
and if you were to ask me whether it is
turned out beter than I expected, then my
answer would be yes. The same goes for
whether it is turned out better-looking than
‘We were and are a growing organisation,
and at a certain moment you start running
out of space. We are not running out of
ambition, though, so in early 2016 we sat
down with the architects to make plans
for a new head office. We quickly realised
that the existing office building was still
largely suitable for 2016, even though it was
designed in 2004 and built in 2006. That is a
real compliment to the team back then.’
‘Working on the basis of what we already
had, we have now developed a 2.0 version.
As always, we asked ourselves what needed
to be improved. We developed and realised
the new building based on the answers to
this question. We have changed quite a bit in
terms of technology and air conditioning and
we have also looked ahead as regards style
and appearance. Nevertheless, it is great that
we are opening a head office with the same
kind of look and mostly the same choice of
materials. In 2006, the office was built in a
way that permitted expansion, but I could
not have imagined back then that in 2019
we had be quadrupling our floor area.’
‘Over the past three years, we have
experienced Aartsen’s biggest period of
growth. So much has happened for us in this
time. The company is developing at a rapid
pace, not only in commercial terms, but also
with new and growing departments such as
IT. That requires space. It does not need to
be the most beautiful, expensive or luxurious
office. You will not find any gold taps here,
which I do not even like actually, but we do
have a special quality. When you see the final
result, I believe you will agree that we have
a wonderful contemporary and distinctive
office building within our sector. I am really
happy with it and I hope and believe that my
people will love to work there.’
The sense of family
‘In the new building, departments are
physically much closer together than in
the old situation. All the departments work
together in the modern section of the head
office. Everyone works in the same space,
shares the same coffee pantry and uses
the same lunch space. This strengthens
collaboration and solidarity between the
commercial, administration, IT and marketing
& communication departments, thus
achieving one goal of the new building.’
‘Moreover, I hope that the name change
contributes to the sense of family, even if
just by 1%. Aartsen’s success depends on
the quality of the people who work for us.
We employ truly fan-tas-tic people,
and their number is growing all the time.
One disadvantage of growth is that the
sense of solidarity decreases and there is a
risk that the atmosphere will become more
impersonal. Increasing our size is a tricky
issue, I feel, because it also brings some
things I do not like so much.’
‘You see, I want to make sure that we retain a
culture of collaboration, that we are all in this
together. All the management staff do their
utmost to strengthen the team feeling, the
culture and the solidarity. Aartsen is no place
for loners, we always look for team players.
That is our quality. If the name change and
the sense of family that goes along with it
help to promote the sense of solidarity,
then in my view it is mission accomplished.
Time will tell.’
‘To be honest, I am curious about how
many people expected us to announce
something historic today. Many people
may have thought it would involve me.
I have absolutely no desire to retire –
perish the thought. However, in order to
focus my energies on other issues and to
give people the chance to progress in their
careers and take on more responsibilities,
I withdrew from day-to-day commercial
activities at the age of fifty. This has made
us stronger as an organisation.’
‘Looking to the future, I can say that I never
want to become that old guy at Aartsen
who keeps interfering with everything and
everyone. The previous generation did not do
that either and so created opportunities for
new talent and new qualities and abilities at
Aartsen. I need to find the right balance here.
However, what is certain, is that Aartsen
is not for sale and that I want to guide the
company into a new phase. The long-term
future – that will be my challenge for the
That is our
new HQ Aartsen
Tour at the new Aartsen headquarters
‘Each detail is th
The time has come for the opening of the new headquarters in Breda. But what makes the
new office so special? To get the full story, we joined Aartsen’s operational manager
Frank van der Velden, architects Paul Grosfeld and Jaap Bekkers (who are partners at the
firm Grosfeld Bekkers Van der Velde Architecten) and interior architect Jan Geysen from
PUUR architects on a tour at the stunning new building, both inside and out.
ere for a reason.’
new HQ Aartsen
Jaap: ‘We gladly subscribed to the longstanding
concept of having a pavilion
alongside the original farm with a subtle
and scenic feel. That principle has been
upheld.’ Jan added: ‘The pavilion – the
office – clearly has a formal, international
and businesslike character. By contrast,
the farm has an informal character.’
‘It is very important that the ideas which
the architects develop can actually be
implemented’, said Frank. ‘To this end,
we involved the contractors in the
project from the start. By doing so,
the construction partners were able to
come up with practical, suitable and
affordable alternatives for certain
components, among other things.’
According to Jan, Aartsen is always
searching for quality. ‘Not only with respect
to the company’s products, but also in
terms of this project. They gave us the
opportunity to forge an excellent working
relationship with everyone involved in this
project.’ The partners’ involvement was
very intensive, which went extremely far in
certain respects. Frank: ‘We built an entire
ceiling fitted with all of the components
for air conditioning, refrigeration, lighting,
sound and fire detection in a site hut.
The aim was to determine whether our
wishes were technically feasible and
whether it was visually what we had in
mind.’ Jaap added: ‘It is quality without
going overboard. We believe that it is
important for employees and visitors to
experience the tranquillity which we aspire.’
new HQ Aartsen
F.l.t.r. Pascal, Jaap, Frank and Jan
Jaap: ‘What you cannot see
incredible peace and quiet
Jan: ‘The farm is more authentic than the pavilion. Using the
characteristic connection of a glass corridor creates a larger
contrast between the farm and the office. It is the tangible
connection between old and new.’
Jaap: ‘To me, the effect of the patio exceeds expectations.
The interplay of interior and exterior as well as light and air in
the heart of the building creates a lot of quality.’
Jan: ‘The farm will serve multiple purposes. First and foremost,
it will be where the employees have lunch. It can also be
used for presentations. In addition, it is equipped with a nice
kitchen. Aartsen Kids Foundation will have its own space on the
mezzanine, which is a kind of in-between floor. What used to be
the living room, and later on the canteen, will once again be a
living room for receiving guests.’
Frank: ‘We had a professional kitchen installed in the
farmhouse, so now there is the option of having a caterer
prepare dinners on site for our guests. That way, we can
simply stay in our own surroundings.’
Jaap: ‘When you walk around the building, the high-quality
appearance of the pavilion is striking. Tranquillity, clarity,
beautiful recesses, simplicity, modernity with an appealing
entrance. When you use the main entrance, you experience
the outdoors and indoors becoming one.’
Jaap: ‘We went really far. Take the sunblinds, for example.
We puzzled over this element until the sunblinds’ guiding
mechanisms could be cantilevered and precisely aligned
with the seal joints of the glass.’
Jan: ‘Something that you do not see at first are the ultracomfortable
climate ceilings. All of the technology, including
ventilation grilles, have been incorporated into the joints;
the ceiling does not touch the edges anywhere and we had
the lighting custom-designed. The essence of the space is
emphasised, without the technical elements creating
Frank: ‘We wanted to keep the dome ceiling as clean as possible.
Consequently, all of the technology is incorporated in or concealed
above the ceiling.’
Jan: ‘We extended the cladding to the inside. The plinth around
the building is made of freestone, which gives it a strong character
of its own, and we extended that to the inside as well. This solution
creates one whole.’
Jaap: ‘The details are incredibly important. If you do not seek out
that level, you will never experience the peace and serenity that you
will experience now. Absolutely everything was considered fully.
Each detail is there for a reason.’
Jaap: ‘We wanted vertical lines only in the zinc roof of the patio.
In addition, we wanted the overflows to be invisible. While that took
a lot of effort, it is all about refinement.’
Frank: ‘Many details in the building remained unknown until late in
the process, which makes it difficult for a contractor to anticipate
effectively, but it all worked out in the end.’
Jan: ‘We are always trying to imagine how people will move around
the office. We ponder this issue together, to the extent that we even
discuss at great lengths the direction in which doors open and the
location of the copier.’
Frank: ‘Although we already had beautiful desks, there were all
these cables criss-crossing underneath them, which is messy.
In the new headquarters, we can easily reach everything,
without cables being visible.’
Jaap: ‘Things do not just happen out of the blue. It takes thought
processes and consultations to arrive at something good. You often
gain new insights during the process as well. As a team, you have
to be open to that approach.’
ut do experience, is the
that the building exudes.’
I am Aartsen, because I am
a perfectionist too.
This is my family, because
I feel at home here.
Frank van der Velden
I am Aartsen, because I am
passionate about delivering the
quality that we are all committed
This is my family, because
I really feel at home here.
I am Aartsen,
fourth generation CEO.
I am Aartsen, because
the company has become
embedded in my genes.
This is my family, because after
years of working together, I truly
feel at home here – part of the
family, in other words.
They are the beating heart of the Aartsen family. Jack Aartsen, Marcel Hendriks and Frank van der Velden
make up the board of directors. Menno van Bremen is the Managing Director Asia. Along with the commercial
management team, consisting of Aart Bezemer, Frans Jongerius and Richard Uijtdewilligen, these dedicated
professionals make sure that all employees feel part of the family.
I am Aartsen, because I was practically born in
a crate of vegetables. My parents had their own
horticultural business, so I have been immersed in
the world of produce ever since I was a child.
My whole life has been about fruit and vegetables,
with my work for Aartsen being about 90% of that.
This is my family, because we make a fantastic team.
Aartsen’s strategy really appeals to me. We have the
same way of looking at things, which makes me feel
very much at home – it’s just like being with family.
Menno van Breemen
I am Aartsen, because we embarked on
an adventure in the Far East together.
It’s a company with a great organisational
structure, one that I fit into very well.
This is my family, because everyone who
works here has the same values. We work
as a tightly-knit team under the Aartsen
flag, and everyone is committed to the
greater good. It’s a very intimate feeling.
I am Aartsen, because Aartsen is in
This is my family, because it feels
The latest news from Aartsen Venlo
The new warehouse in Venlo recently came
into service, followed by the new office
building. Since then, the buildings have proved
themselves to be great places to work. We can
already hardly imagine a situation without the
extra space, particularly in the warehouse.
It always puts me in a good mood when I see
the trucks already standing at our loading docks
early in the morning.
While we have recently expanded our team,
new people are still always very welcome.
There is a very positive flow within the company,
which is also due to seasonal changes.
Spring and summer always bring a different
product range with great products such as
Limburg and Brabant asparagus as well as all
the summer fruits. This change keeps us busy
and in motion – something that excites both
staff and customers.
The latest news from Aartsen Hong Kong
The adventure in Hong Kong began seven years
ago. Even though we had to build everything from
scratch, this branch moved ahead nonstop,
right from the start.
I am proud of how we started seven years ago
and reached the point where we are now:
from 0 containers at the start in 2012 to over
3,500 containers this year.
With over 25% of the total turnover, Aartsen Asia
is realising a substantial part of the group turnover.
Our aim is to continue in the same way. It is the
right course and we are really going for it.
As we are booking growth year after year, we are
always seeking people to expand and improve
our team. And yes, we are outgrowing our
premises again. By now, we have moved four
times, but we are once more looking for new
Menno van Breemen
The latest news from Aartsen St. Katelijne-Waver
Ever since 1995, we have had a location in
St. Katelijne-Waver in Belgium. Following a
vigorous phase of competition in the early years
with the companies already established in the
area, relationships are now fine and all the
surrounding companies have become our clients.
For years now, we have been achieving strong
growth and we have become the major supplier
for many clients. The premises at the current
location were refurbished and expanded in 2008
to provide a floor area of approximately 5,000 m 2 .
We have a good team here, which is reflected
in the growth. In recent years, this growth
prompted us to make plans for the future.
We need space to become even better and
realise our ambitions. As there is a lot of
potential, it is great to look ahead and
a full member of the Aartsen family
The change of name for our ‘parent company’ Aartsen also
has consequences for AKF: the foundation’s full name is now
Aartsen Kids Foundation and it has a new logo. AKF has
always been part of the Aartsen family. It provides a
great sense of solidarity, coupled with the knowledge
that the volunteers (Hellen Aartsen, Annick Bezemer,
Caroline Jongerius, Marlies Knevels and Addy van den
Goorbergh) of AKF successfully achieve the goals together
with the Aartsen marketing colleagues (Sophie Bruijns and
Martijn van der Zwalm).
No change to the philosophy
Although it has already been said often, we have
no hesitation in repeating it: we want to make an
essential contribution to children’s health as well as
to their sense of personal value, self-confidence
The foundation gives back something substantial to
society, specifically to children. This initiative stems
from a sense of solidarity. In addition, we do so
because we are convinced that all children have the
right to know how food, nature, health and well-being
are interrelated. We help children to discover their own
strengths and we take a positive approach,
which puts a smile on their faces. This goal
and perspective have resulted in the idea
that ‘it’s cool to be happy to your core!’
(In Dutch: “Stoergelukkig”)
These ambitious goals are not changing
either. We have formulated three pillars
which give focus to our philosophy and
translate our solidarity with children into
very concrete terms.
First are the support projects. In these projects,
AKF works to benefit children for whom a kids’
party or new school items are not something
that they can take for granted.
The second pillar is Cool Treats. This is an
experience-based project for primary school
pupils aged 7 to 9. The aim of the Cool
Treats project is to help children gain positive
experiences with fruit and vegetables,
thus creating awareness of good nutrition.
The third pillar, general projects, includes
sponsoring of fruit and vegetables for sporting
events and school related events too.
The annual Singelloop (Breda Running event)
is another of the general projects. In future
editions of nonstopfresh magazine, we will
devote plenty of attention to the pillars and
the way that they are put into practice.
save the date
Breda, Venlo, St. Katelijne - Waver, Hong Kong
a name change doesn’t just
happen over night
What do Porsche, Heineken and
Aartsen have in common? All three are
successful family businesses that are
proud of their name and their history.
As family businesses have a good name
internationally, a name change is a logical
choice. Aartsen is dropping the fruit, but
growing as a family.
Nonstopfresh since 1907
The Aartsen story started in 1907 with a fruit and vegetable
cart. Over the following years, four generations of Aartsen
made the company what it is today: the international
gateway for fresh fruit and vegetables. An important
decision was taken in 2002: after having been under
external management for a while, the company returned
to family ownership. As it is now time for the next step, the
name under which the business originally started, will also
be restored – shorter, more powerful and more meaningful
The question was: do we go forward with vegetables,
or do we drop the fruit? Throughout our history, the
name aartsenfruit told only half the story. Since adding
‘vegetables’ to the name was not an option, we decided to
drop the fruit. This choice was diffi cult, but any fruit grower
can tell you that pruning is done for the sake of growth. In
other words, we pruned the ‘fruit’ out of the name in order to
grow further as a family.
We are family
After fi guring out what to do with our name, the following
question quickly arose: how we will communicate it? A
campaign to communicate a new name is not the easiest
St. Katelijne Waver
prospect. It is something that many marketeers avoid. In
the case of Aartsen, however, there was really only one
logical choice: Aartsen is dropping the fruit, but growing as
a family. This phrase is provocative, striking, but relevant and
most of all very true. If there is growth in something, it is in
people. As fruit and vegetables arrive fresh each day and
are marketed, people are the stable factor. People with the
right mentality and a true heart for Aartsen.
We are Aartsen
This notion makes everyone Aartsen, regardless of your fi rst
name. It does not matter whether your name is Jack, Bart,
Esther, Hans or even Toon. Although he retired as Toon Aarts
in 2015 after working for 35 years, being family does not
end once you retire, so even Toon is still Aartsen these days.
The same is true for all of the children in the Aartsen Kids
Foundation. At Aartsen, the family value is not just a paper
value; it is something that we proudly convey in name and
in everything that we do. We are Aartsen.
According to an old Dutch saying, ‘It is a good
child who takes after his father.’ In other words,
children who do things the way their father
does. Such a nice sentiment.
The saying applies to certain Aartsen
employees, too, since there are a number of
men working here who are not only colleagues
but also father and son. We would like to
introduce you to eight of them in this issue.
Mart Vergouwen, 65 years old
truck driver since 1978
Maikel Vergouwen, 35 years old
truck driver since 2007
Maikel, what brought you to Aartsen?
Maikel: ‘That would be my father, of
course. I was driving for a different
company when I heard that Aartsen was
looking for a new driver. I was keen on a
new job, so that worked out well.’
Did you encourage your son to join
the team here?
Mart: ‘I tipped off Maikel about the
vacancy. Of course, I told him to have
a good think about it. At the same time,
however, I would never encourage my son
to work here if I was not happy here.’
What is it like working with your dad?
Maikel: ‘Although we do the same job,
we seldom run into each other.
Sometimes we start at the same time in
the morning, but on those days we see
each other for a few minutes and then we
both hit the road.’
What is it like to be colleagues with
Mart: ‘I am thrilled how it all worked out;
still, after a while you do get used to it.
And, as Maikel already mentioned,
we do not see each other every day,
which perhaps is a good thing. On the
other hand, we never have any problems
with each other, neither here nor at home.’
Do you ever talk about work?
Mart: ‘We see each other every weekend –
the kids always visit me – and sure,
when we are gathered around the table
we will talk about work, too. But not at
great lengths or anything; my other two
sons are there, too.’
Why did you want to work for
Mart: ‘He saw that I came home each
night with a smile on my face; that is
a good reason.’
Maikel: ‘The conditions are good and
everything is well-organised. It is a
decent company, the hours are good,
the equipment is in working order and
that suits me.’
We are family!
Joep, what is it like working with
Joep: ‘We work together from time to time.
There are moments when I need to look up
a price and then I just tell the customers
that I need to ring my dad. When they
hear who that is, their response is that
everything will work out fine. I like working
with him because I can ask him for advice
and he is always there for me, of course.’
What is it like to be colleagues
with your son?
Youp: ‘It is brilliant being able to
experience his development up close.
He started out as a holiday worker and
when vacancies appeared Joep applied for
them. He told Jack that he would like to be
a truck driver. As it turned out, that was not
for Joep; he is much too active and cannot
sit still for long. When someone in sales
left, Jack said that perhaps that might be
something for Joep. That proved to be
the case: he is enjoying himself and he is
developing well. I am truly proud of him.’
Joep: ‘I started coming here when I was a
little kid. Sometimes during holidays I got
to ride on the trucks with the drivers when
I was 8 or 9 years old. I always liked the
vibe here. I saw that everyone had a lot of
fun and worked hard. That appealed to me,
and it works great for me, too.’
Youp Meeuwissen, 54 years old
sales staff Breda since 1990
Youp and Joep – does that cause
Youp: ‘Actually, having two Joeps or Youps
here is fun. The beauty of it is that my real
name is John and my son’s given name
is Youp. But when I started working here,
there already was a John. I told everyone
to call me Youp; I thought – and still think
– it’s a nice name. A little while later, I had
a son, and we named him Youp. My wife
said that it was bound to cause confusion
since I was already known as Youp at work.
But I said that it did not matter; after all,
what were the odds of our son coming to
work for Aartsen in the future?’
Joep Meeuwissen, 22 years old
stall sales Breda
since 2012 as a holiday worker,
since 2014 permanent employee
We are family!
Dennis, what brought you to Aartsen?
Dennis: ‘My dad was already employed
here and the manager at the time was
a friend of him. I asked him whether
I could get a holiday job. That was indeed
possible, and within two years I joined
as a permanent employee.’
What is it like to be colleagues with
Kees: ‘It is quite special because
essentially he is my boss.’
Working with your father: is that
Dennis: ‘Although we work at the same
location, we have hardly really worked
together since I have been here.
Indirectly I am his boss, but he knows
exactly what he has to do and he does
not actually need any supervising. That is
important. We do see each other of course,
but both of us are busy doing our jobs.’
What do your colleagues think
Dennis: ‘It is fine with them. A half a year
ago, my dad fell and everyone was very
concerned. In that type of situation it’s fine
to acknowledge that we are related.’
Kees: ‘As long as you keep your personal
lives and your work lives separate,
nobody will raise an eyebrow. I simply do
my job and that way I never get the
feeling that I am getting special treatment.
Solid agreements were made to
Do you ever talk about work?
Kees: ‘It is a large part of our lives.
If something happens we share it with
Dennis: ‘Everyone talks about their work.
That’s very usual. So yes, I talk with my
dad; since it is trickier to share with your
partner. Work inevitably always comes up
in conversation when we meet up for a
drink or are on holiday.’
Kees: ‘But it is not like we spend the entire
time talking about Aartsen, of course.’
Kees van de Bemd, 57 years old
warehouse employee Breda since 2007
Dennis van de Bemd, 30 years old
assistent warehouse manager Breda
since 2008 as a holiday worker,
since 2010 permanent employee
We are family!
Can we call you an Aartsen family?
Frans: ‘Yes, as a matter of fact.
Wayne and I work at Aartsen, and my
wife works for AKF. And our other son,
Dylan, had a holiday job here a few years
ago. There is a lot of chemistry and
connection with the company.’
Wayne, what brought you to
Wayne: ‘Thanks to my parents I was aware
of the fact that Aartsen had opened an
office in Hong Kong and I was very curious
about the operations over there. Jack gave
me the opportunity to do a work placement
in 2015 for six months to see what life
is like here. Within a couple of weeks
I knew that I would love to work here and
that I wanted to move to Hong Kong
All the way in Hong Kong
Frans: ‘From a parental perspective,
Hong Kong was a big step. We knew
that he would go out into the world.
Wayne has always been a free spirit.
If those are his ambitions, well, then as
parents we can only be happy that it is
with Aartsen. Because there is trust;
we know that it is right. The organisation
likewise has a lot of confidence in him,
which is also nice for a parent.’
Why did you want to work here?
Wayne: ‘I was eager to work abroad
and during my work placement in
Hong Kong I realised that there were more
or less countless opportunities in Asia still
awaiting Aartsen. Furthermore, it is clearly
a family business with close connections
where issues are resolved quickly and that
is always open to good ideas and their
implementation. Taking initiative
Frans Jongerius, 57 years old
branch manager Venlo since 1996
Wayne Jongerius, 27 years old
sales employee Hong Kong
since 2009 as a holiday worker Venlo,
since 2016 permanent employee Hong Kong
Do you ever talk about work?
Wayne: ‘We tend to communicate through
Skype or WhatsApp. We see each other
for a few days about three times a year.
We talk a lot about things not related to
work, but we always chat a bit about work,
too, of course. Especially if they achieve
a good turnover in the Netherlands; I will
definitely hear about that. With a reminder
that we need to crank it up a notch
Frans: ‘Of course we talk about our work,
but we keep that separate.’
What is it like to be colleagues with
Frans: ‘It is wonderful that he works
for Aartsen and to see him develop.
My wife Caroline is involved in Aartsen Kids
Foundation and this creates a strong bond
with the family; as a result, Aartsen is often
topic of conversation at the dinner table.’
sacrificing qual i
Some developments remain mostly invisible
for a long time. After all, activities such as
creating an inventory, preparing, making
and implementing plans all require time.
The same also goes for the development
of Aartsen’s ERP system. Together with
our partners Thinkwise and Exact, we are
working hard on this ambitious project.
The new update of Blue Banana not only
involves project manager Hans den Reijer,
but also IT manager Hans van Meer. Below
is an account of what they have been doing.
Someday soon, the FreshFuel subproject
(procurement & transport and closing
notifications & commission bills) will start
operating on the basis of shadowing.
A shadowing phase means that Aartsen
uses the old and new system alongside each
other. Depending on the result and the user
experiences, it will then be decided when
FreshFuel will actually go live. The kick-off will
involve the closing notifications & commission
bills element, followed shortly after by
procurement & transport. Some subprojects
will run in parallel; for instance, FreshFuel and
FreshAccount (for the implementation of Exact
Financial) will be worked on simultaneously.
Following the implementation of the first project,
FreshAccount will quickly come into service as
well. As the data from shadow runs and realworld
use come closer together, the pressure
and tension are sure to rise as well.
Several internal presentations have already
been held and the staff at Aartsen is looking
ahead to the new phase with a degree of
hesitancy as well as expectation.
In other news, the launch of FreshTrade
(sales & logistics) has already been achieved.
Following a phase for analysis, inventory and
planning, we expect construction of the system
to begin after summer. A new subproject has
now been added to the planned subprojects,
known as FreshData. Recently, we have been
working hard to compile all required data for
FreshFuel and FreshAccount. FreshData has
been set up in order to store and access the
data better as well as to structure them properly.
This process will ensure that the data required
for all other packages can be stored at one
central point. FreshData will undergo a process
of validation, correction, control and completion,
which will ensure the quality of data at Aartsen.
Hardware and software
Of course, an ERP system will not work without
hardware and software. Hans van Meer is
responsible for IT at Aartsen. His team is already
doing a lot of work within the company.
This approach suits Aartsen, because the
company likes to keep hold of the reins without
sacrificing quality and speed. Instead of choosing
standard products, it has been decided to carry
until 2018 as of 2019
ty or speed
out highly specific work in order to get
the absolute most out of the infrastructure.
The first step was to make an architecture
panel – a kind of construction panel which
sets out what Aartsen wants to achieve in
terms of infrastructure and capacity. As regards
hardware, the company has chosen for the
brand HP, which has supplied products from
Europe, America and Asia. Everything is being
configured and structured specially for Aartsen.
The IT team has been expanded in response
to this dynamic period. A lot is being asked
of our staff, which presents an opportunity
for them to develop their abilities quickly and
broadly. This situation is benefiting the team
and hence Aartsen as a whole. Work on the IT
infra-structure is now under way and all going
well. The construction phase will be followed
by the migration, after which it will be the turn
of the fall-back location in Venlo. As IT is the
lifeline that keeps the company running, it is
important to have another option to fall back on in
emergencies. The team is ensuring that we have
a low-maintenance infrastructure, which always
offers room for innovation and improvement.
‘Some while ago Jack Aartsen compared the
shift from the existing computer system to
the new system with trading in a Polo for a
Mercedes, but I am convinced that a change
from a Polo to a Formula 1 racing car is a
better comparison.’ Hans van Meer
Thinkwise is a Dutch software company and a
supplier of a proprietary software development
platform that realises smart enterprise software
conveniently and quickly. Software is often
lacking in flexibility and unable to grow in line with
an organisation, meaning that it quickly goes out
of date. In order to keep up with developments,
a company such as Aartsen must be able to
respond quickly. Thinkwise facilitates this goal
and is ready for the future. In the next edition of
nonstopfresh magazine, we will explain how it is
making Aartsen future-proof.
Dutch company Exact is the business software
market leader in the Benelux. They are the
go-to provider for companies looking to automate
their accounting, financial, ERP, HRM and CRM
processes. They also offer a range of industryspecific
solutions. All possible technological
resources are used to ensure that an
organisation such as Aartsen is able to take
sound, well-considered decisions. We will talk
more about the role that Exact is playing in
Aartsen’s ERP project in a future edition
of nonstopfresh magazine.
update Blue Banana
in the future
Aartsen wants to stand out in everything that the company does. The fruit and vegetable
market is no different from the job market in that sense. In addition to the best kiwis and
courgettes, Aartsen looks for the finest apples of our eyes. Our channels to the job market
are always rooted here.
Go to aartsen.com
Aartsen is everywhere
No two jobs are the same, however. A warehouse employee requires a different approach
than a commercial employee. Certain things are more important to a school leaver than
they are to an experienced worker. And a school leaver requires a different type of strategy
and resources as well. One you reach through sponsoring on a football pitch; another you
reach through posters at school. You encounter Aartsen at bus stops, stations, on the radio, on
Social Media and at trade fairs and events. We are everywhere the various target audiences
A question of mentality
Still, there is one thing which connects every job at Aartsen and which ultimately takes
centre stage: mentality. Character and mentality are the most important of all of the job
requirements. While you are given all the room that you need to grow at Aartsen, the
foundation must be solid: you have to be cut out for this. This central theme informs every
recruitment campaign and represents what Aartsen is looking for nonstopfresh.
Talent gets an early start
A good example of the right character and mentality is the campaign aimed at commercial
talent. These people are not the most difficult group to find; commercial talent is everywhere.
Although things were going quite well in terms of applications as well, the focus at Aartsen is
on the morning and everyone has to start early. It turned out that this requirement was a deal
breaker for many people. We have since turned it around: you cannot start early enough.
Nonstopfresh on Monday morning
Instead of conducting job interviews during the day, we asked applicants to arrive for an
interview on Monday at 05.00 a.m. While this approach considerably reduces the number
of applications and interviews, the advantage is that you know where you stand as an
applicant. What is even more important for Aartsen: every applicant can be hired virtually
on the spot. After all, the truly talented are there at Aartsen on Monday at 05.00 a.m. in the
morning. Not only do you have a good alarm clock, but – most importantly – you also have
the right mentality to start nonstopfresh at Aartsen.
Aartsen zoekt nonstopfresh
Breda, Venlo, St. Katelijne - Waver, Hong Kong
Go to aartsen.com/care
Apply as warehouse worker on
aartsen.com/jobs, then you’ll be
the first one for a job interview on
Monday morning at 5
Breda, Venlo, St. Katelijne - Waver, Hong Kong
We are looking
Click here >>
Sunday 6 October 2019