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Business in The Netherlands

Interview with Linda Frietman, CEO and Founder of IamProgrez

A Bat Signal for Super-Employees

Think of your (potential) employees as superheroes, suggests Linda Frietman. Her company IamProgrez, based in the Netherlands, has developed a unique approach to help organisations find the employees best suited to their business culture by gamifying the recruitment process. European Business spoke with Ms. Frietman about her outside-the-box idea, the challenges the European labor market will face in the near future and the most striking Bat Signal a company can display to find the best superheroes out there.

Interview with Patrick van Veen, biologist and coach for business management

Unfortunately, there are still a lot of gorillas among the bosses

A chimpanzee’s DNA differs from that of a human by just 1.6%. Biologists and behavioural scientists are devoting themselves to our closest relatives with corresponding enthusiasm. The Dutchman Patrick van Veen has a new perspective on the topic: He is transferring the Apes’ Den to the office! In an interview with European Business, he explains why senior management needs more baboons, why observing can enrich your office routine and why managers should be interested in the wildebeest.

Interview with Ben Woldring, Dutch internet entrepreneur

Teach kids to code!

Ben Woldring is a Dutch entrepreneurial powerhouse. At age thirteen, he started his first internet company Bellen.com and negotiated contracts with the Netherlands’ largest telecommunications companies. Today he operates over a dozen online comparison platforms and the Bencompare app which allows users to stay on top of their household bills and contracts. European Business spoke with Mr Woldring about his impressive career, the regulatory obstacles he faced in its course and his fascination with blockchain.

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The finest fruit all year round

With an abundance of high-quality fresh fruit on supermarket shelves it is not difficult to meet the fruit part of the five-a-day recommendation from dieticians aimed at getting people to eat more fruit and vegetables. Helping retailers to satisfy consumer demand for perfectly ripe, flavoursome and attractive fruits and berries is FruitMasters in the Netherlands. The hugely experienced cooperative of fruit growers and importers has been active in the sector for more than a century and specializes in delivering high quality fruit directly from the source.

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Being smart about tough nuts to crack since 1879

Sometimes a well-established company may need a bit of stirring up to rearrange and renew its facilities, in order to realize a greater potential in a new era. Felix Cohen BV was established in 1879 and is active in drying and conserving fruit and nuts, and pressing olive oil. It had seats all over the world but is now concentrated in Oosterhout, The Netherlands. Last year, the firm was acquired by the Health Food Group Holding BV, as it complemented the holding’s other activities in sweeteners and allowed for a welcome logistic synergy. With new production lines and plans to expand and finetune its offer, Felix Cohen BV is ready for a new dawn.

Interview with Edwin Blom, CEO of MiniBrew BV

The Thermomix of the Beer Market

In the same way that the German Thermomix has significantly changed the way consumers cook their home-made food, Edwin Blom, CEO of the Dutch firm MiniBrew BV, wants to change the way we drink beer. His fully automatic brewing machine, sold at just shy of 1,000 EUR, allows his customers to brew their own craft beers in a matter of days. We spoke with Mr. Blom about current beer culture, consumers’ evolving demands, and the markets MiniBrew hopes to penetrate.

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Fishing in international waters

The Dutch have always been a seafaring nation, building up a significant trading empire that spanned the globe at its 17th century height. While its imperial past is now consigned to history, the fruits of its strong relationship with the sea continue to be enjoyed. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the beating heart of the fish-loving Netherlands, van Meines Vis BV has been supplying high-quality fish and seafood products to the hotel, restaurant and catering sector for over 50 years. For the past five years, the company has also targeted the retail sector, a move that has led to the construction of a new processing plant.

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Taking the long-term perspective

Rather than just concentrating on good products and profits, MEIKO takes the long-term perspective. The internationally operating enterprise focuses on sustainable solutions that help to make the world cleaner, more hygienic and, ultimately, more worth living. MEIKO Nederland B.V. is the group’s base in Barendrecht, in the Netherlands, and responsible for professional warewashing, cleaning and disinfection technology.

Interview with Willem Sodderland, Founder and CEO of Seamore

Seaweed could become a key source of food for humanity

The food on our table is ready for an upgrade – at least according to Willem Sodderland, founder of the Dutch company Seamore. His suggestion? Present seaweed as healthy and sustainable alternatives to foods we already know and love, like pasta, bacon and soon wraps and bread. We spoke with Mr. Sodderland about the benefits which widespread use of such a nutrient-dense product could have for our planet, how seaweed is being farmed for commercial use and his optimism for the future growth of this niche market.

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Magical baking moments

There is nothing like the taste of a fresh, warm croissant on a lazy (or if you have children, busy) Sunday morning. Even better is when you have made them yourself – effortlessly. Danerolles BV have been offering consumers RTB fresh dough in a can since 1974 and according to CEO Piet Decuypere, the high-quality end product is only part of the story. The company has set its sights on bringing even more weekend family baking tradition back into our homes.

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