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Van Oers United
Chief Financial Officer
- Consumer Goods
- Other ownership
Van Oers United
Van Oers United is an internationally operating supplier and producer of year-round fresh vegetables. The company has been active on the European market and beyond since the 1975. Van Oers United’s intensive partnership with its own divisions and associate production companies guarantees the shortest possible chain, which assures optimal freshness.
Van Oers United believes drive, commitment and professionalism are the most important core values in its operational management. These core values enables the company to achieve the mission statement: ‘Delivering Excellent Produce’, every day. Van Oers United wishes to be recognized and acknowledged as the partner of choice in the market in which it operates.
The experts, who attend to the needs and wishes of the clients every day, are central to the business. Van Oers United is able to keep delighting its buyers every day by offering optimal availability and outstanding quality and efficiency in combination with excellent support services. Key words within the organization are decisiveness, craftsmanship and engagement.
In 2015, Van Oers United was taken over by French cooperative Agrial, European market leader in fresh vegetables. Agrial’s different vegetable divisions Priméale (unprocessed vegetables), Florette (processed, ready to cook vegetables) and Crealine (soups & purees) provide Van Oers with various opportunities and bolster the international character in numerous ways. The Group encourages a decentralized model, relying on autonomous working Divisions, Business Units and/or areas. This leads, for instance, to separate market approaches.
Turnover of Van Oers United is approximately € 270 million. Main markets can be found in Northern Europe (Nordics, UK, Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands). The products are being sold through the large food retailers in these countries, like Ahold, ICA and Tesco. Van Oers United has own production sites in the Netherlands, Morocco
and Senegal and works in close cooperation with partners in East Africa (e.g. Ethiopia, Kenia and Egypt) and Central America.
One of the actual developments is the change from Private Label to Branded products and from a market push to market pull approach.
Van Oers United believes in continual development with its chain partners. We guarantee continued advancement in respect of availability, quality and efficiency through professional, revolutionary and sustainable entrepreneurship.
Van Oers United’s mission statement is: Delivering Excellent Produce Supplying top quality vegetables every day is our passion! All our processes are set up in such a way that we are always able to excel in this. Not only do you see it reflected in the taste, appearance and freshness of our products, but also in the quality of our support services.
The Chief Financial Officer
‘Finance’ with Van Oers United
The financial function within Van Oers United is complex. This is caused by, a.o.,
- The dynamic international Supply Chain: cultivation in different (African and European) countries with both own companies (Europe, Morocco, Senegal) and partners (East Africa)
- Sales in different, mainly Northern European, countries
- High physical movement of products, high volumes, low margins
- International company
- Combination with legal and IT.
Description of the role
The CFO covers -with his or her team- the full scope of financial, legal and IT aspects with Van Oers United.
He or she acts as a true Business Partner for the CEO, thus not only providing figures and results, but foremost all necessary valuable and in-depth analysis, insights and advice to support (give direction to) current and future business decisions on a pro active base.
The CFO operates close to the CEO and the other board members to ensure and facilitate full financial support on and involvement with every aspect of the business. In past and future.
The CFO builds and maintains close working relations with the Vegetable Branch of Agrial and ensures full alignment on every financial aspect.
The CFO shows true business acumen and builds and maintains professional relations with all national and international subsidiaries and cooperation partners. The CFO is approachable, curious, has an international mindset and mixes well with all levels and different cultures.
The CFO is a true team leader. He or she is very well capable of building and developing a first class team that masters all financial, legal and IT issues, faces all challenges and is fully exposed to the entire organization. He or she also develops on an individual basis, ensuring the personal development of every single team member.
Purpose of the CFO
To control the financial and risk strategy of Van Oers United, produce annual accounts, management information and budgets whilst keeping control of costs and complying with regulatory requirements.
Scope of responsibilities and mandate
The CFO is responsible for all financial transactions, legal affairs and IT with Van Oers United, acts as registered Company Director and is key stakeholder with Vegetable Branch of Agrial, banks, insurers and lawyers.
Tasks & responsibilities – in detail
- Overall control of the annual statutory accounts and the audit process for Van Oers United. Review of the consolidated weekly accounts and the review and presentation of the monthly consolidated management accounts.
- Responsible for annual production of 3 year strategic and financial plans.
- Control of annual budgetary process. Working with all departments to ensure that a realistic and achievable budget is presented to the Group. Thereafter ensuring that this budget is monitored closely with all Directors, managers/budget holders on a monthly basis and obtaining explanations for all material variances.
- Audit Control – internal & external – implementation, improvement and review of controls and financial procedures throughout Van Oers United.
- Working Capital Management, Treasury management and cash flow monitoring, responsible for monitoring daily cash levels, foreign currency requirements, hedging and the borrowing levels of Van Oers United.
- Responsible for all of Van Oers United financial reporting to the Group including twice yearly consolidations and intercompany reporting. To ensure accuracy & trust in figures reported.
- Insurance – annual review with insurance brokers to ensure that all identified risks are covered at affordable premiums
- Project Appraisals & Cost vs. Benefit Analyses. Supporting Commercial and Business Operations to ensure performance and sales.
- Overall responsibility for product costings. Involvement in tender processes.
- Control and monitoring of all capital expenditure including large capital project sign off.
- Review of corporation tax and tax planning. Liaising with Tax Advisors to ensure that Van Oers United not only complies with all tax reporting requirements but also in addition minimizes the overall tax liability and maintains beneficial cash flow.
- Member of Finance and IT Corporate Committees of Vegetable Branch of Agrial.
- To support strategic growth projects for the company via acquisition and expansion.
- To attend, participate and contribute to Board meetings, inputting into 3 year plan.
- Business partner to Managing Director to sign off key business decisions.
- Ensure system and procedures are carried out in accordance with documented company working instructions with relevant internal controls in place.
- Member of Product Recall Team and member of Crisis Team.
- Overall responsibility for the IT infrastructure on all sites and responsible for the roll out and implementation of the FlorIS ERP system into all companies within Van Oers United.
- To carry out due diligence checks on the business.
- Pension governance.
- To manage and motivate staff working within his/her area of responsibility through performance reviews and appraisal.
Place in the organisation
The CFO is part of the board of Van Oers United and reports hierarchically into the CEO of Van Oers United. The CFO has a functional reporting line with headquarters of the Vegetable Branch of Agrial (Floréale/Lessay/France). The CFO leads a team of approx. 20 FTE (13 Finance, 5 IT, 1 Legal).
The ideal candidate
The ideal CFO
- is a proven successful finance professional, who has held senior, preferably end responsible finance positions
- masters the full range of his/her responsibility (e.g. financial control, business control, legal, tax, insurance, IT)
- Experience or at least great affinity with the food or food related sector and its dynamics (e.g. agri, feed, ingredients) is a definite plus. If not, has experience in other businesses in other domains
- has international (cross border) working experience
- shows a broad business sense
- is educated at University level (MSc, Drs, Ir, RA/RC)
- is a true team player that supports the sharing of information and values the opinions of others
- has a tenacious approach to data accuracy with good analytical skills
- is a driver of change and constantly seeks opportunities for improvement
- has exceptional influencing skills
- is a good communicator, both verbally and written
- is fluent in English and French (preferably)
- is able to take clear decisions quickly and under pressure
- has the ability to build relationships across range of stakeholders
- has fun in his/her work, is a pleasure to work with.