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Agri meets Chemicals: Meet the speakers

16 November 2017

Deloitte and Rabobank will host the fourth edition of Agri meets Chemicals on the 16th November 2017 in Rotterdam. This year's keynote speakers will be Jerome Peribere, Lars Feldskou, Rob Beekers, Frank Kuijpers, Henrik Essén and Gerard Scheij. Read the interviews below to read about their views and beliefs on the food packaging value chain under the theme “From Waste to Taste”.

Jerome Peribere, President & CEO – Sealed Air Corporation

Can you briefly introduce yourself?
I am Jerome Peribere, CEO of Sealed Air. Sealed Air is an American based company and world leader in protective flexible packaging solutions. We have more than 14,000 employees, over $4.5 B in sales and are present in all continents.

What drives you?
Our job is to eliminate waste. We don’t see ourselves as a packaging company, but what we really sell is the reduction of waste in the food sector by protecting products and extending shelf life. This benefits the whole supply chain and the consumer.

Take the example of fresh fish. No one makes money by selling fish on ice. Any retailer who sells on ice doesn’t make money. All fish that’s left at the end of the day can’t be sold the next, even though the number of fish in the ocean is declining and fish farming is very polluting. So we as consumers and retailers are committing a crime against nature. If you vacuum package the fish, shelf life extend with a week.

This sustainable way of thinking by focussing on the extension of shelf life which benefits the consumer and our planet by eliminating stupid waste has a huge appeal to our employees and myself.

What do you think does the world of ‘waste’ looks like in 2050?
In 2050 our resources will be dramatically constrained, and will have to be shared by about 10 B inhabitants; so many of the waste which will not depend on unresolved technologies will have been eliminated. In these cases mentioned, inefficient e-commerce, spoilage of produce or protein will have been eliminated. We know how to dramatically improve through existing technologies. Why not accelerate the movement together now?

Could you give us a quote or hint on what your presentation will be about?
We made a pledge at the end of the Paris Climate Conference 2 years ago. Every time when we go to a customer, we not only present our product solutions but we always provide them with the environmental impact. “If you do what we propose, you will safe x amount of money and reduce x amount of Co2.

My key message will therefore be: We are surrounded by waste. Form coalitions to accelerate the reduction of waste with solutions on hand today. Don’t wait for technology as an excuse to not take action now.

Lars Feldskou, Group CPO – Danish Crown

Can you briefly introduce yourself? 
My name is Lars Feldskou. Since the 1st of March I work at Danish Crown. Danish Crown is a meat processing company, and in terms of turnover the 7th biggest company in Denmark. I have the full group responsibility on non meat. Non meat is divided into 5 departments being logistics, packaging, ingredients, MRO & spare parts, and indirect (travel, car flee, energy, utilisations, cleaning). I am also responsible for our supplier quality (assessments, audits, tests).

What drives you?
A year ago a new CEO was appointed. The company exists of 8 different units, and they were very decentralised. Our new CEO wants to centralize these units and work much closer together. This means a new strategic focus. What interest me most is the change management aspect. Change Management is what I like doing. Once that job is done, it’s done. No daily operations for me.

What do you think does the world of ‘waste’ looks like in 2050?
From our company’s perspective we want to be a driver in innovation. Especially within packaging (bio degradable materials) and transport. It will be a joint effort with our suppliers with whom we will have an active dialogue. I hope by then all plastic packaging materials we use will be bio degradable.

Could you give us a quote or hint on what your presentation will be about?
As a company we need, together with our strategic suppliers, to take our responsibility within the food value chain. That’s the message I want to bring across.

Henrik Essén, Senior Vice President Communications & Sustainability – BillerudKorsnäs

Can you briefly introduce yourself?
My name is Henrik Essén and I am Head Communications & Sustainability at BillerudKorsnäs. BillerudKorsnäs is a leading provider of fiber based packaging materials and solutions. The company is strongly based in northern Europe, and selling all over the world to packaging producers and to brand owners. Previously, for over 10 years, I was consulting in bio based industries globally.

What drives you?
I believe in a sustainable future and I believe that packaging and renewable fiber based materials have its place in a sustainable future. To achieve this we need to actively challenge the way we work. There is a huge potential for doing things better. Sustainability also brings a competitive advantage, where we as BillerudKorsnäs can have an impact. BillerudKorsnäs mission in a sustainable future is what appeals to me.

What do you think does the world of ‘waste’ looks like in 2050?
We need to look at the world of waste in a holistic way. Waste is to be prevented. It is very easy to sub optimize because it is a complex matter. That is why you need a holistic view. As a world we will be doing better by then, I am optimistic about where we are heading.

Could you give us a quote or hint on what your presentation will be about?
I’ll talk about the potential that lies in a holistic approach to waste. If challenging your normal, traditional boundaries, there is much to win for business and for society.
 

Gerard Scheij – Partner at Picnic

Can you briefly introduce yourself?  
I'm Gerard and I'm Partner at the Dutch online supermarket Picnic. I have followed the design phase of Picnic from a distance when I was still living in South America, and I fully joined as a Partner when we moved back with the family to the Netherlands last year after almost 15 years. I have been CEO of various leading Brazilian retailers such as GBarbosa (supermarkets, ex-Ahold), Atacadão-Carrefour (the leading cash and carry in Brazil) and C&A, the Dutch fashion retailer. As a member of Ashoka´s support network, I have been involved in helping social entrepreneurs in South-America to scale their sustainable business models. I hold a Master degree in Business Economics from the University of Groningen and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. I am married and have four children who all grew up in Brazil and Argentina.

What drives you?
Building and growing customer centric businesses and concepts is what I like doing most. Doing this together with great people from different countries and cultural backgrounds gives me enormous energy. Picnic for me represents the future of food retailing as with the combination of smart technology, a disruptive business model and true customer intimacy at the door, we are building a new channel that is both more convenient for consumers, and more sustainable for our planet. As a Partner at Picnic I dedicate my time to the further development of our assortment and to building local and international partnerships with the industry to further improve the food chain and reduce the distance “from farm to fork”.

What do you think does the world of ‘waste’ looks like in 2050?
The food supply chain will look very different and more efficient, definitely already before 2050. A platform like Picnic shortens the chain: with no physical stores to store products, the time and product handling from producer to consumer reduces, thus reducing waste considerably. Take the example of a fresh product like bread: we know exactly what our customers have ordered, so we can “bake to order” the exact amount necessary without any forecasting, reducing bread waste to zero.  Furthermore, by charging no delivery fee, our customers order more frequently, reducing the “waste at home”, that today is an important part of the total waste in the chain. As we deliver the products in electrical vehicles, with many customer orders bundled per trip, we reduce the number of inner city vehicle movements and also avoid small particle emission in inner cities. The function of packaging will also change over the years. In a virtual store where a product is displayed as a picture, product packaging has no function anymore to brand and position products on a physical shelf, but only to hold the product during physical transport to the homes of our customers. This can have a dramatic impact on the design and materials used for product packaging. With our shorter, transparent supply chain, we can dramatically reduce packaging and save time and money for all involved.

Could you give us a quote or hint on what your presentation will be about?
With its sheer size and importance, the food system holds big and complex human challenges such as food waste, packaging costs, time and energy waste, and unfair trade. We believe that new technology and new business models such as Picnic, can contribute to changing the food system and reduce overall waste. Creating transparent strategic partnerships with our partners in the food industry, by exchanging data and working on end-to-end solutions with the use of smart technology, we believe we will structurally improve the global food system by joining forces.

Frank Kuijpers - General Manager Corporate Sustainability at SABIC

Frank Kuijpers is a 1987 graduate of the Technical University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands where he received a MSC degree in biological off-gas treatment of a SBR plant. He joined DSM NV in the Netherlands starting his career at the licensing subsidiary Stamicarbon as process engineer for DSM’s solution and high pressure processes. During his career at DSM he held several positions at engineering, manufacturing, business and corporate staff departments. He moved as from 2000 into executive management roles for R&D, Strategy Planning & Development, Large Capital Projects and Business Transformation. During that time he also switched employer from DSM to SABIC. The latest move he made in March 2017 into Corporate Sustainability as the global leader to lead SABIC into the next steps of Sustainability the position he holds until today.

Rob Beekers - Global Lead Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants, Elastomers at Cargill

Can you briefly introduce yourself?
I am Rob Beekers. I work for Cargill. Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and over 150 years of experience. We have 150,000 employees in 70 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work.

Since I started in this company almost 22 years ago I have enjoyed to work in many different roles. In Sales and Productline management for our Industrial Starch business, as Supply Chain Manager for Cargill’s European Starchy Enterprise, as General Manager for our plants in Sas van Gent and Bergen op Zoom and now since 1 year I have an exciting challenge and that is to drive new biobased developments in Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants and Elastomers (CASE) globally.

What drives you?
To unlock the potential there is when you put people with different perspective and knowledge together. We have the risk to “hire ourselves” when we build a team and often look for the opinions of the people we know already. Especially in an environment where I am in now, we will need to seek for those different perspectives to come up with innovative solutions.

What do you think does the world of ‘waste’ looks like in 2050?
Waste in terms of pollution will disappear. I hope and expect that both on the design side of products and in the technologies to recycle them, huge steps forward will be made in the coming years to bring the “re-purpose” level of goods after initial use to 100%. Making more use of biobased ingredients in the products we make can help this development and this is where companies like Cargill can play an important role.

Could you give us a quote or hint on what your presentation will be about?
It will be about opportunities and challenges for biobased materials for industrial applications like food packaging. About the need to see the connections across the chain and the willingness of the different stakeholders in there to make a change happen.
 

More information?

For more information go to the Agri meets Chemicals: From Waste to Taste website at www.agrimeetschemicals.com.

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