Primeale United
Chief Operations Officer

  • Consumer Goods
  • Supply Chain
  • Other ownership

Deze opdracht is gesloten

About Van Oers United

Van Oers United is an internationally operating supplier and producer of year-round fresh vegetables. The company, since 2015 part of Agrial (*), has been active on the European market and beyond for decades. Van Oers United’s intensive partnership with its own divisions and associate production companies guarantees the shortest possible chain, which assures optimal freshness.

Mission of Van Oers United (VOU) is to contribute to the wellbeing of people by stimulating the popularity of vegetables.
The mission statement of Van Oers United is: ‘Delivering Excellent Produce’
The logistics options, coupled with optimal availability, enable VOU to delight the buyers every day.
The concepts of quality and customisation, provided by our support services, feature strongly in our business.
VOU is wholly dedicated to production. That is where quality and freshness come to life. VOU controls the chain from start to finish, which enables VOU to offer top quality and excellent shelf life.

VOU believes drive, commitment and professionalism are the most important core values in its operational management. These core values enable VOU to achieve its mission statement: ‘Delivering Excellent Produce’, every day. Van Oers United wishes to be recognised and acknowledged as the partner of choice in the markets in which it operates. VOU believes in continual development with its chain partners and guarantees continued advancement in respect of availability, quality and efficiency through professional, revolutionary and sustainable entrepreneurship.

Highlights of the last decade:
2011 was dominated by the merger between T. van Noort and Van Oers to form Van Oers United. This merger between unique companies, each with its respective specialisms and ranges, paved the way for a new decisive entity.
In 2012 Van Oers United devoted a great deal of attention to further professionalising the organisation. Sustainability became a central theme within operational management, the packaging department was modernised and there were also plenty of developments at overseas sites. The production acreage was extended by 200 ha in Senegal and Northern Morocco. Van Oers operates own grow-facilities in Africa and has successful cooperations with partners in Africa and South America. In 2012, Van Oers United also launched two brands: Freshwell and Growing Excellence.
In 2015 Van Oers was taken over by Agrial’s vegetable division. Van Oers United thus instantly became part of the European market leader in fresh vegetables, with the brands Florette (for ready-made vegetables), Priméale (for unprocessed vegetables) and Créaline (for soups, sauces and purees).

Current and future developments:
With the appointment of Arno van Dongen (who previously worked with Unilever and Bonduelle) as CEO, Van Oers took a new path towards strengthening its distinctive positioning in the market. A stronger client focus, change from push to pull, development of strong partnerships together with international growth will push Van Oers Uniteds business forward.
Sustainability has become a key priority and integral part of the identity of VOU. It will play a central role in all current and future actions. Specific attention goes to:

  • CO2-reduction
  • Packaging (plastic reduction)
  • Water management
  • Waste management
  • Process optimization and digitalisation of operational activities leading to optimal quality and operational excellence towards clients is also a priority for the near future.

Facts & figures:
Turnover of approx. €300 million, 320 FTE, supported by flexible workforces. In its operating companies in Afrika during peak moments the laborforce is approx. 8.000 people strong, helping to grow, crop and process all the fresh products for the dutch and Western European market.

CEO, CFO, HR Director, Commercial Director, Sourcing & Farming Director and the Operations Director (COO).

(*) About Agrial
Agrial is a farming and food cooperative that supports its members every day with processing and marketing their produce. The Group is backed by strong brand names, has 150 production sites in 11 countries and is pushing forward food operations in milk, fresh fruit and vegetables, drinks and meat. Agrial is an engaged company and is pushing forward responsible and efficient farming, as well as offering consumers safe, healthy and delicious food. Together, Agrial’s 12,000 members and 21,200 employees embody the company’s values of long-turn sustainability, proximity, solidarity and boldness. In 2020, the Group turned over 6 billion euros. For more information:

Chief Operations Officer

General purpose of the role:
The business model of Van Oers United is characterized by the fact that it covers the full supply chain. Van Oers is grower, processor and maintains commercial relations with its clients, delivering ‘year around’ top quality fresh vegetables from this chain. Consequence of this complexity is its vulnerability. The Chief Operations Officer plays a crucial role in managing, developing and improving this supply chain in all its aspects.

Additional insights:
During the last decade ‘Operations’ transformed from a basic, mainly executing department – organised in between Farming and Commerce – into a full fletched part of the board of VOU with end-responsibility for Supply Chain, Quality Assurance, Efficiency Improvement, S&D and the two sites (Ridderkerk and Dinteloord). During the last years ‘Operations’ strengthened its added value by the implementation of standardised working methods, key processes, autonomously working teams and learning cycles.

Next critical steps for the coming years are:

  • Getting more grip on and control over the total Supply Chain
  • Automation of key processes
  • Operational excellence
  • Safety in all layers of the organisation
  • Tender of temporary labor forces

The new Operations Director will play a key role in achieving all this.


  • Developing and executing strategy in Operations. Translating strategy into tactics for all activities (Facility, Quality Control, Warehouse, Logistics, Purchase non-fresh produce and Packaging) and the management within Operations for the various Dutch locations
  • Representing the Operations activities within the Board of Directors and the Group division
  • Providing leadership: sets targets, coaches and reviews direct reports, helps realising goals and makes adjustments when necessary, total span of control is 150 fte (approx. 400 including season workers)
  • Aiming for high operational standards and customer satisfaction by improving the quality in the processes for example continuous improvement and Supply Chain Management
  • Carrying responsibility for the budget and KPI’s hereby analysing the business from a financial point of view
  • Developing joint strategic and operational initiatives. Discusses policy and execution with the CEO
  • Managing the workforce and all HR related processes in operations, in close cooperation with HRM. Manage the flexible workforce and the SLA’s behind this
  • Professionalising all Operations involve and bringing these to a higher level

Reporting lines:
The Operations Director reports hierarchically into Arno van Dongen, the CEO of Van Oers United B.V., and through a dotted line (functionally) into the Director of Operations Vegetables and Fruit of Groupe Agrial, Benjamin Dupuy. The total span of control of the Operations Director is approx. 150 FTE (with peaks up to 400, including season workers).

Candidate profile

Knowledge and skills:

  • Relevant Master’s degree
  • Minimum of 12/15 years management experience
  • Experienced in improvement and Supply Chain Management
  • Supply Chain / Chain thinking
  • Affinity with fresh produce/products
  • Familiar with steering information and being able to translate it into practice
  • Proven knowledge/experience with automation and mechanisation
  • International (+ preferably African) work experience
  • Willingness to travel and work abroad on a regular base up to a maximum of 25%
  • Works/lives in The Netherlands, fluent in Dutch and English language, French is a plus


  • Has a proven successful managerial trackrecord
  • Shows strong leadership skills, especially in the field of change, innovation, efficiency
  • Inspiring and motivating leader and entrepreneur.


  • Experienced and stable personality with an executive presence; seniority / seasoned
  • High level of emotional intelligence
  • Helicopter view with the strength to empower employees
  • Strategic insight
  • Empatic Teamplayer
  • Sensitive personality
  • Modelling competences ( CI, PDCA, etc )
  • Broader experience ( commercial, other )
  • Works highly structured and planned
  • Has ample experience in a complex and dynamic environment with similar scope and span of control
  • Good understanding of – and preferably experienced with – the dynamics between an operating part of the business (like VOU) and an HQ ‘at a distance’ (Agrial in France)
  • Has initiated and implemented drastic improvements (methods/culture) in a demanding environment with a strong preference for experience with fresh/limited shelf life products.
  • Has well developed strategic, conceptual and analytical skills and is able to develop and propagate an own vision
  • Is hands-on, pragmatic
  • Is highly visible and has the willingness to get into more detailed operational issues
  • A strong personality, mature, senior attitude, trustworthy and accessible for the entire organisation