A conversation with Robbert van Essen – “From tough negotiator to relationship builder”

19 January 2023

Robbert van Essen, Sourcing Manager at Yex, tells us more about his role within our company

In my previous job, I was a purchaser and a tough negotiator who would try to save every last penny. I have been working as a sourcing manager at Yex for a year now, and I’m taking a different path here. There is more than just price. Our main aim is to build a good relationship with our farmers. There are some big fish among them, but also smaller farmers. We help them to build their businesses, so we can grow together in the future. Things such as the required certificates, responsible delivery of the right volumes and good personal relationships are just as important to us as the right price. We want to meet our regular partners face to face at least once a year. Through company visits, for example, or at trade fairs.

Asparagus are one of our flagship products. We get them from Mexico and Peru. Sustainability is also an important item within our industry. We all want the best for the world, and we too must do our part. For example, looking creatively at transport, cultivation methods and the prevention of child labour are important points for us. My favourite product from our range? Passion fruit! I have two-and-a-half-year-old twins, and if I sit them down on the sofa with a piece of passion fruit and a spoon, they’re no trouble at all!”