CRV appoints new Cooperative Board members

CRV appoints new Cooperative Board members
Wanda Verdonck, Jochem van der Starre and Tineke Vermeulen

The CRV cooperative is 100% owner of CRV Holding BV and its subsidiaries, including CRV BV and CRV c.v.b.a. This means that the members of the cooperative also own the company and, through the members' meetings and the members' council, have influence on the strategy and activities of the cooperative CRV, CRV Holding bv and its subsidiaries.

The Members Council of the CRV cooperative has unanimously voted in favour of the appointment of Wanda Verdonck of Lille and Tineke Vermeulen-Rehorst of Berkenwoude as new Cooperative Board members. They replace Sjoerd Schaap and Fons Kersten. With this appointment, the new directors also join the Supervisory Board of CRV Holding BV.

The same meeting of the Members Council decided that Jochem van der Starre of Slootdorp 2023 will be appointed as a Cooperative Board member and Supervisory Director to replace Kurt Faes in March 2023. Jochem will start serving on the Board immediately, but does not yet have formal voting rights.

Wanda Verdonck: ‘Diversity in competencies strengthens management’

‘As a Board member and the chairwoman of the East Flanders district, I have come to know CRV as a cooperative in which matters are discussed openly and where my contribution as a farming manager is appreciated. I have found the talks in the Members Council on important developments in the Netherlands and Flanders and the international markets in which CRV operates to be very inspiring. I am therefore looking forward to being even more closely involved in these as a member of the Cooperative Board. After an extensive screening process by the confidential committee, it’s rewarding, as a young woman, to be selected for your competencies and not because of your gender or age. At the same time, the reality is that on average, women are not quick to put themselves forward for management positions. They are rather more likely to wait until they are asked. As a result, female talent is often lost, which is a missed opportunity for management, because diversity leads to more carefully considered decisions. That is also why I became active in the Ferm voor Agravrouwen organisation. I think it is important that women make use of their strengths, including in agriculture. Cooperative boards are going to badly need all competencies, including those of women, in the demanding years to come. I hope that in this way, I can also inspire other female farmers to dare to come forward.’

Together with her husband Tom Bastiaens and her parents-in-law Paula and Paul, Wanda Verdonck (34) operates a dairy and arable farming business in Lille in the Campine region of Antwerp province. The dairy herd consists of 270 dairy cows and calves and 220 young stock. In the summer months, the company also operates a bed and breakfast business. Wanda is the mother of three children, aged 12, 8 and 6, and is active in the provincial management, the dairy farming group and the labour working group of the Boerenbond farmers union. She is also involved in the Agriculture and Fisheries Strategic Advisory Council of the Flemish government and with Ferm voor Agravrouwen, a Flemish network for female farmers and horticulturalists.

Jochem van der Starre: ‘The cooperative must continue to innovate’

‘Before I became a farmer in the Netherlands, I worked on an arable farm in England for a time. I discovered there what supplying a private sugar processor means for the terms of delivery and the price. That is much better organised here, with Cosun. We may not always be aware of this in the Netherlands and Flanders, but in countries where farmers do not work cooperatively, they are much worse off financially. For me, that’s an important reason to work for the management of cooperatives such as FrieslandCampina and soon, also for CRV, alongside my own business. I am strongly motivated to stand up for the future of cooperatives. But I am not conservative. The world around us is changing fast and that means that CRV, too, will have to continue to innovate. I have in mind here the application of data in the business management, for example. We now see young start-ups that are developing new data solutions for the agricultural sector and will probably earn a great deal of money with that in the future. With JoinData, we have made sure that as farmers, we keep control over our data. But if private companies can earn money with data solutions, we, as a farmers cooperative, should probably also address that ourselves.’

Together with his wife Carina, Jochem van der Starre (41) has a dairy and arable farming business in Slootdorp in the Wieringermeer polder, with 175 diary cows and 80 young stock on 100 hectares of land. They also operate a farm shop. Jochem is the father of two children, aged 16 and 13. He has previously served on the advisory council of GD, the youth committee and the information committee of CRV and the advisory council of JoinData. At present, he chairs the North Holland district of FrieslandCampina.

Tineke Vermeulen: ‘Cooperation is important for the future of the sector’

‘I am from the seventh generation of a family of dairy farmers. My brothers and parents currently have a herd of 200 dairy cows in this family business. My husband Dennis is not from a farming family, but he did have the ambition to become a farmer. Eight years ago we were able to buy a business together in the area where we were born, and where we now have 100 dairy cows. We live and work in the Krimpenerwaard, in the heart of the peat fields district, where the continued existence of dairy farming can certainly not be taken for granted. Actually, that is no different in other parts of the Netherlands and Flanders.’

‘I am driven to make a contribution to the future prospects for agriculture, if only for our own children. This is why I represent the agricultural sector, for instance in a regional group for addressing soil subsidence. And that’s also why I want to work for cooperatives such as CRV. Strong cooperatives are of major importance for healthy future economic projects for the sector. That’s why we need to continue to work together in a strongly cooperative way. That will succeed if livestock farmers stay with the cooperative and if the cooperative continues to add value on the farms.’

Together with her husband Dennis and with help from her parents and parents-in law, Tineke Vermeulen-Rehorst (33) has a dairy farm in Berkenwoude, in the peat fields district, with 100 dairy cows and calves and 60 young stock. They have 50 hectares of land in use and fatten ten Belgian Blue crossbreeds each year, the meat of which they sell door to door. Tineke is the mother of two children, aged 5 and 7. She graduated as a chartered accountant and worked for various consultancies. She is currently a business controller at an orchid nursery. She has also held and still holds various management positions at the AJK, a Dutch organisation representing the interests of young farmers, and at FrieslandCampina.