A conversation with Mike Looije – “On a course with the inspectors”

19 December 2022

Mike Looije, Product Manager at FV SeleQt, talks about his role within our company

“I’ve been working at Farmhouse for five years now, and five months ago I ‘moved’ internally from exotic fruit to haricots and legumes. A product group that I knew nothing about until then, but I quickly got up to speed. I took an inspector course to gain more product knowledge, for example. It was great fun and very instructive. I sat in on both novice inspectors and inspectors who have been doing the job for 20 years, and still had to do this module on legumes, among other things. I’m currently also taking a Spanish course. All of it to be able to communicate even better with our suppliers. We are constantly working towards a good partnership with our farmers. My work has increasingly become customer relations. Contact with growers is crucial. By spending one week with a grower, you learn more than from three years in the office. I will also be visiting the growers of legumes, but not quite yet. I want to thoroughly prepare first and have the right addresses and not travel around aimlessly.

My favourite product from our range? Something I used to come across in my previous job in exotic fruit, the Pitaya (Dragon Fruit). The number of Pitaya growers is growing rapidly, so it could well become the ‘second banana’. Something everyone has in their fruit bowl. If I look at vegetables, I would say Bimi, a promising product with a lot of potential. And, of course, Sugar Snaps! I recently discovered that you can eat them raw. A surprisingly tasty snack. Not many people eat Sugar Snaps that way, but if it’s up to me, that will soon change.”