Opportunities, commitment and growth, that’s what Interfood is all about.

Hi Bart-Jan, can you please introduce yourself?

My name is Bart-Jan Dohmen, and I live in Eindhoven with my girlfriend. We are currently blessed with two sons, and soon we’ll be welcoming our third. In my leisure time, I cherish moments spent with family and friends, especially outdoors. Although I have a passion for golf, unfortunately, time constraints prevent me from playing as frequently as I’d like.

Back in January 2012, I began my journey as a junior trader at Interfood. What initially drew me to commodity trading as a career was the dynamic nature of the market. Each day brings new challenges and opportunities, and I thrive on that unpredictability. Working within an entrepreneurial organization allowed me to take on significant responsibilities early in my career. Additionally, the chance to build global relationships greatly appealed to me.

What I truly enjoy about my role at Interfood is the dedication of my colleagues. We share a common drive to continually improve and excel. Together, we work hard, learn, and have fun along the way. It’s this collaborative spirit that makes my work fulfilling and rewarding.

You started as a Junior Trader, grew into the role of Business Unit Leader Africa, and you’re a Business Unit Leader Key Accounts now. How did that happen?

I initially joined Interfood in 2012, where I traded cheese for 2.5 years. After a couple of detours, I realized that sometimes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, leading me back to Interfood in 2016. From that point onward, I became deeply involved with Interfood’s most valuable accounts, first as a Trader and later as a Senior Trader.

As things progressed favorably, I was presented with an exciting opportunity: to lead the Business Unit Africa and take charge of our Full Cream Milk Powder and Fat Filled Milk Powder P&L. Balancing long-term relationships with suppliers and customers while optimizing the financial performance of these product groups taught me valuable lessons. I discovered that focus is essential—whether on nurturing relationships or maximizing results—to achieve the best outcomes.

During this journey, we recognized untapped potential within specific accounts. These accounts required a different approach than the typical commodity trading focus on profit optimization. Consequently, we established a dedicated Business Unit for Key Accounts with a full-time team solely devoted to managing these accounts. Since the beginning of 2023, I’ve been leading this unit, striving to develop long-term partnerships by aligning our customers’ strategic goals with Interfood’s value propositions.

The common thread throughout my career at Interfood has been that in every new role, I was able to work more from my strengths. Now, with leading the Business Unit for Key Accounts, I continue to find joy in collaborating with our customers and suppliers. Sitting on the same side of the table as partners, we work together to help them achieve their objectives in line with their strategic vision. We’re not just experts in our field; we’re becoming an integral part of their business.

What about learning and career opportunities?

Reflecting on my career journey within Interfood, it’s clear that the organization offers abundant possibilities. Just last year, I had the chance to relocate to one of our overseas offices, but personal circumstances led me to remain where I am for the time being.

At Interfood, you are in control of your own career. You determine the pace and direction, and the company provides the tools tailored to your development goals. But what truly makes Interfood unique, in my opinion, is our unwavering focus on people—the heart of our success. As a family-owned company, Interfood treats its employees like their most important asset. Our well-being matters deeply to the organization.

There are no rigid steps or fixed timelines for progressing from one role to the next. Instead, the focus is on allowing people to work from their strengths. By doing so, each of us brings our best self to work, contributing to a fulfilling and enjoyable environment.

And how might a growth path look like?

Within Interfood, the amount of possibilities is boundless. Whether you aspire to become an expert in trade or key account management, or if your interests lie in other departments like finance or supply chain (or vice versa), Interfood can accommodate these career transitions. Moreover, every role can be performed across Interfood’s global offices.

Observing my colleagues, I notice a remarkable trend: many of us have been part of Interfood for over a decade. These are highly ambitious individuals who wouldn’t have remained here if it weren’t for the abundant opportunities for growth and development.

What's your most memorable moment so far?

We have enjoyed so many memorable events together, but my most memorable moment was our annual European team weekend in 2018, which we celebrated in a German castle, Schloss Krickenbeck. One of the activities was an original German Beer Cantus. The companionship and joy shared among colleagues from various departments were something I will never forget.

What about the sense of purpose? Do you feel you can make an impact?

100%; it’s wonderful to witness our vision materialize into reality and see the anticipated success gradually unfold. My purpose lies in assisting our customers and suppliers in realizing their strategic objectives and overcoming the challenges they face for mutual benefit!

Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring traders interested in a career at Interfood?

If you possess the right amount of ambition and work from your strengths, the opportunities at Interfood are limitless!

Bart Jan Dohmen

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