Pauline Vink, Corbion: ‘From a silo-based organization to a leading supply chain’

Pauline Vink

In the space of less than two years, Corbion – a publicly listed company that produces sustainable ingredients – has transformed its silo-based organization into three holistically managed end-to-end value chains. How did Pauline Vink pull that off? And which steps does she still need to take to achieve her goal of an entirely touchless flow through the chain for 80% of orders? 

Corbion was founded more than a hundred years ago as the Centrale Suiker Maatschappij (CSM, Central Sugar Company) and evolved into a food company that developed bakery ingredients as well as lactic acid derivatives. The bakery activities were divested and the remaining company was renamed Corbion in 2013. Today, the company supplies a range of biobased products to various markets, including the food and pharmaceutical industries. The products range from preservatives to ingredients for dialysis fluids and polymers used in medical screws and plates. In addition, the company processes lactic acid into poly lactic acid (PLA), better known as bioplastics.

Who are your biggest competitors?

“We are the global market leader for lactic acid. The main competition comes from China. But because we have such a diverse range of end products, we face competition from several directions. In the Netherlands we mainly compare ourselves to companies such as DSM and Tate & Lyle.”

Corbion’s entire business model revolves around sustainability. Why?

“It’s true that preservation is our central theme. That has been a natural evolution. Our core market is the food industry, where we supply natural preservatives to replace synthetic, oil-based alternatives. Another very big problem is food waste, and food with a longer shelf life can help to reduce the amount thrown away. Other applications that add value from a sustainability perspective include bioplastics or medical screws and plates that dissolve in the body, eliminating the need for extra surgery to remove them. Having preservation as our theme gives our company direction.” … … …

Want to read more?

Pauline Vink

Get your digital subscription of 
Supply Chain Movement No. 51 Q4, 2023 now! >>