Michiel van Dillen is familiar to many (former) growers, and in December 2022, he joined Westland Seeds. In the short time since then, he has found his niche and has had the opportunity to meet related local and overseas growers. "We have a fun, passionate team where brainstorming is expected and appreciated. It's great to be part of this work environment. There's a true passion for bell peppers here," Michiel says.
"A year ago, I never thought I'd have more than 200 photos of bell peppers and chilies on my phone. Almost more than of my two-year-old son! For the first few months, I had to figure out how the varieties were distinctive. So I took a lot of pictures of our and our competitor's varieties."
"Just like a fruit"
Michiel's job application supplies another great anecdote. "My interview with Iwan van Vliet went so well; he showed me the greenhouse and 'the fruit' and let me taste various Westland Seeds varieties. I'd never had a snack bell pepper before, but I tasted the WLS snack pepper. I was amazed that a bell pepper could be as sweet and juicy as fruit," he recalls.
"Lots of same surnames"
Horticulture is new to Michiel. He is familiar with the greenhouses and the Westland mindset, but Michiel is no grower. Still, he knows some (former) horticulturists. That is because he used to work at a local golf course. "I got to know plenty of especially retired growers there." Nice people, Michiel would think.
"They'd come in and always ask for a discount first and only then tell me what they want. With some, I almost needed subtitles when we first got talking. Everything always went well, and you heard many of the same surnames. Westlanders don't shy away from self-mockery either. I had great fun there over the years, especially because of our guests," Michiel admits.
Michiel will visit different channels this year. He has chosen a good year to join Westland Seeds as it is celebrating its 15th anniversary.
Anyone wanting to get acquainted can contact Michiel via these details.
For more information:
Michiel van Dillen