Anne van de Poel, Bonduelle: “Supply chain facilitates our growth strategy”

Anne van de Poel, Bonduelle

Rooted in the land, producing vegetables together with partner farmers and in close proximity to consumers – that has been the strategy of French family-owned company Bonduelle since 1853. This approach preserves the freshness of the vegetables and minimizes the carbon footprint. On the flipside, this can make company growth difficult when harvests are disappointing. But against the backdrop of today’s ecological and climate challenges, Bonduelle’s conscious choices make it a source of inspiration in the food industry today. We asked Anne van de Poel, Supply Chain Director Northern Europe, about her vision on the role of the supply chain. 

Bonduelle made its mark with canned vegetables. The company later added frozen and fresh products, but canned vegetables are still its largest market. With 12,000 employees and 58 production companies worldwide, Bonduelle is a global player on a mission to inspire the transition to plant-based food. In doing so, the company aims to make a positive contribution to the health and well-being of people and the planet.

Bonduelle has a multi-local presence: ‘multi’ because its vegetables are grown all over the world and its products are sold in nearly 100 countries on three continents, and ‘local’ because the factories are located near the farmers’ fields. Anne van de Poel: “We constantly ask ourselves: Where can we grow, process and store which crop at scale in order to minimize the transport distances to factories and customers? Which sustainable partners should we choose? Are there more sustainable modes of transport? And which additional measures can we take in our distribution centres (DCs)? Because one important way our supply chain contributes to cost reduction and sustainability is to minimize our carbon impact through transport and warehousing.”

Which countries and responsibilities fall within your scope as Supply Chain Director Northern Europe?

“The Northern Europe region includes Scandinavia, the UK and the Benelux countries. I am responsible for the supply chain of our branded products as well as our private label products and I’m a member of the leadership team. The departments I’m responsible for are customer service with order-to-invoice, demand planning, supply chain (warehousing and logistics), execution management and integrated business planning (IBP). The role of my teams is to enable sustainable growth with positive impact by driving a customer-centric supply chain. On the one hand, we’re focused on improving the IBP process with real business impact and strengthening the necessary capabilities. And on the other hand, we’re optimizing our supply chain in Northern Europe to enable long-term growth as effectively as possible.” … … …

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