In an interview, Frans Scholts, manager of the Dutch exporter Hoogsteder for 39 years, reviews the events that marked 2019, the priorities for the years to come and the essential values that allowed the company’s successful evolution.
What were the highlights for you in 2019?
“The year 2019 was marked by our big move. We needed larger and more efficient facilities to bring all of our activities together in one place. It has already been six months since we moved and we are very satisfied with the new tools available to us.”
“Besides, we are very proud of the big event organized for the inauguration of this new building. It was a special moment of discussion between our producers, employees and families, which we greatly appreciated.”
“We also experienced a strong development of our activities in France with our Greenery France branch, managed by Lucie Grange. Lucie succeeded in creating value for the French producers and our French clients. The whole Hoogsteder group continues to grow sustainably, which gives us a very good feeling.”
What are your main priorities as the manager of Hoogsteder for the next 3 years?
“My main priority is to continue to create value for the products from our Dutch, French and Italian producers. We want this created value to be appreciated and confirmed by our clients.”
What message do you want to convey to the fruit and vegetable actors, both producers and distributors?
“We must always work in a positive spirit, in full transparency and with common result objectives. We must always keep this “Win-Win” situation in mind, where there are only winners. Of course, we want to negotiate, but we must never lose sight that the goal of a negotiation is to increase results on both sides.”
What stimulates you the most in your work?
“I am very proud of my colleagues. After already 39 years in the company - and although I still feel like I am 20 years old - I continue to learn daily in my work, surrounded by all these young people who are positive and constructive. I certainly hope to continue working for a long time in this mindset. It is exciting to work in a team that brings nine different nationalities together. And I’m happy to notice that evolving together in a multicultural context is not only possible but also very enriching.”