After studying Business Administration at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, Tim van Doren shook off the 'pepper picker image' to rediscover the horticulture sector for himself. His current job as Project Manager Supply Chain at Koppert Biological Systems has, fortunately, provided him with a completely different vision.

After graduating, Tim had the choice to work as a purchaser at an electronics giant or at Koppert. He did not have a complete picture of the horticultural sector. He only knew horticulture from his youth, from when his friends picked peppers in the greenhouse. Yet the choice was made quickly, it was his feeling that was the decisive factor. Tim, 23 at the time, started as Junior Purchaser at Koppert Biological Systems, an international fast-growing company with more than 25 subsidiary locations worldwide. The working atmosphere is informal and you are giving the opportunity to develop yourself and to continue to grow.

Varied job with an international character
He now works as Project Manager Supply Chain. He is the sounding board of the business and translates complex issues to IT solutions. ''I work on all kinds of projects and have daily meetings with project groups that are working in different stages, very dynamic. One moment you are working internationally to roll out planning software, whereby you also have many Skype conversations with subsidiary locations. An hour later you have a meeting about the introduction of 'batch codes' in order to make 'track and trace' possible. Every phase presents new challenges. At the beginning, I’m mainly busy establishing what the issue or the problem exactly is, next step is seeking contact with the right parties to come to a good solution. Finally, it is important to monitor whether the offered solution actually does what it has to do.

The nice thing about this job is not only the variety and the challenge of the projects and complex issues, but also that I get the chance to travel overseas. I regularly travel abroad to see how they do it over there and also to implement process improvements on location. It is interesting to see how things are functioning internationally, for example at Koppert locations in Mexico, France, USA, Canada and Spain.''

Tim's vision of the horticulture sector has now changed. ''I thought that it was mostly about working very hard and that it mainly was done in the Netherlands, but the horticulture sector is gigantic and with an incredible international orientation, with the Netherlands as the front runner."

And in the future?
Tim does not yet know whether he will continue to work at Koppert forever. In any case, he strives for a career with enough opportunities to further develop himself. This is certainly the case with Koppert. ''You get the opportunity to develop yourself and you yourself can indicate where your interests lie. Koppert, for example, also offers the 'Young potential program', which is a three-year training program for ambitious young professionals in which your skills are trained and you learn all sorts of techniques, such as presentation techniques."

For the time being, Tim is in the right place as Project Manager Supply Chain; he is now building up a lot of experience that will be very useful later on. "Koppert is good experience to have".

Source: World Horti Center