MEET THE CEO: Pieter Spanjers, in conversation
There’s no denying it, 2020 has dealt its fair share of challenges – for work, health and life in general. For recently appointed CEO Pieter Spanjers, who had been working on an interim basis throughout 2020 before his appointment confirmation in November, the emergence of COVID-19 meant embracing new ways of working. With innovative thinking, expertise and an in-depth understanding of the SVZ product portfolio, Spanjers and his global team have weathered what seems to be the worst part of the storm and, in collaboration with key partners, continued producing and delivering high-quality natural and sustainable fruit and vegetable ingredients for a healthier world.
Let’s hear it from the man himself…
What do you enjoy most about working at SVZ?
The people – the people of SVZ are fantastic to work with. They are knowledgeable and passionate about the possibilities fruits and vegetables hold, and have the right spirit and great ideas to make a better world. As specialists in red and tropical fruits, I am convinced this passion and vibrancy runs through their veins!
This, along with processing natural vegetables on a global scale, means we can aid the creation of healthier food and drinks and play our part in cultivating a better world for mankind. This is why I love working at SVZ.
Share some insights on the ‘new normal’ for SVZ
2020 has presented us with some challenging circumstances. COVID-19 hit our customers, our business and the wider world very hard. In SVZ’s ‘new normal’ we are all working from home, maintaining contact digitally. Despite the distance, we have not abandoned our dreams or beliefs and continue to work with our circular economy model and sustainable practices to develop tasty, healthy ingredients.
We’re committed to co-creation, collaborating with our partners to develop new products and organise business cases so growers can work with us. With sites in the US, Europe and partners in South America and the Asia-Pacific, we work closely together to progress an affordable supply chain – regardless of the changed circumstances.
What ingredients are SVZ focusing on?
SVZ’s focus is on natural and sustainable fruit and vegetable ingredients. This is our core business; this is what we can promise our customers. Red or tropical fruits, green, white or orange vegetables – from NFC juices, to purees, concentrates or IQF fruit, SVZ has what you need. For beverages, dairy, baby food or jams, with our 150 years’ experience, we’re here to help you.
What would you like to tell SVZ’s customers and partners?
Since taking on the role 12 months ago, I have made sure to regularly consume and test all of the SVZ products with my family, so I have a full understanding of our portfolio offering. I am proud of the ingredients we are creating; what we do is incredible in its simplicity but takes a great deal of skill and it’s this message we should be telling the market!
We coordinate with farmers, deal with all kinds of crop and climate challenges and stand strong in our commitment to creating a better, more equal world. Positive change starts with ambition and I believe we, in collaboration with our partners, have the passion and means to make it happen.
What would you like to tell the SVZ team?
I am extremely proud to be part of such an inspiring team. As a Royal Cosun company, together we are contributing to a healthier world.