Marco Hommeles - Commodity Trader
Creating a win-win for both Interfood and a specific supplier or customer is always very satisfying.
Hi Marco, could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Marco Hommeles, I’m 31 years old and I’m a Commodity Trader at Interfood BV, being based in Bladel. I started working for Interfood in November 2014, right after completing my Master’s Degree in Finance at VU Amsterdam, an internationally renowned research university. After working hours, I like to perform different types of sports; my biggest passion is to play football but since this year I also love to play golf and tennis.
What was your motivation to start a job at Interfood?
If you would have told me during my studies that I would end up in the dairy market, I probably would have started to laugh as that wasn’t part of my long-term career planning at all. However, at the graduation ceremony, a fellow student of mine informed me about Interfood and told me that he could introduce me to the right people. It turned out to be a life-changing suggestion because from the moment of the first interview I was completely sure I wanted to work for Interfood. The ambition of the company, working in international markets, in a dynamic industry and all of that with a young and energetic team, was exactly what I was looking for.
What is your favorite thing about Interfood?
Without a doubt that would be the responsibilities we all have, combined with the fast-paced decision making. You’ll never be judged on age or experience and if you have a good idea, you get the time and the chance to make it happen. The responsibilities you have as a trader was something new for me, in the beginning maybe a bit frightening, but turned out to be very important after all. The confidence you gain is beneficial for your learning curve and it ensures continuous improvement of your personal skills. You learn to think for yourself and to think outside of the box, instead of people telling you what to do.
Next to learning-on-the-job, Interfood invests in external training. Last year, I successfully completed the executive curriculum in commodity trade at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. This program focusses on strategic thinking among different disciplines such as Geopolitics, Supply Chain Risk, Blockchain and Sustainability, all within commodity trade. A very interesting experience to learn from well-respected industry practitioners, experts, business leaders and fellow students. The program ended with a week in Singapore, where our scenario analyses were presented to a board with current business leaders and experts in the commodity industry.
Besides personal development, at Interfood we believe in team efforts and team performances. Decisions we make together: it doesn’t matter how long you are working in the industry, if you believe you can add something to the discussion, your opinion is highly appreciated. A direct result of our purpose statement – Together for better.
About your job at Interfood, what does your average working week in trading dairy liquids look like?
That is one of the best things about our job and the industry we are working in; there is no average working week I would say. There is not a list of “to do’s” or a stack of paper which we need to finish. We have to seek, create and grab opportunities ourselves. And these opportunities arise in calls, visits and discussions with customers, suppliers and your colleagues. But also in developing sustainable long-term relationships with our stakeholders. In summary, our ways of working and our daily or weekly activities are very diverse, no week is the same.
Why liquids specifically? Interfood offers much more than only liquids.
Yes indeed, Interfood offers way more than only liquids. But, liquids is the beginning of the dairy chain and therefore a big information source for the rest of the company. On the other hand, there are some specific properties in the dairy liquid market which makes it unique compared to dry products. One of these unique properties is the volatility within the market, which means you need to act fast as a team. Working for the liquids team suited me right from the start.
What do you like most about your job?
What I like most about my job is the perfect mix of activities such as analytics, travel, social interaction with all stakeholders, overcome challenges and having fun. Each week we have a new puzzle to solve and by working as one global team we stay on top of the market, adding value for both our customers and suppliers. Creating a win-win for both Interfood and a specific supplier or customer is always very satisfying.
Since you’re working for Interfood for more than 6 years now, what is your best memory of your time at Interfood until today?
The best memory so far for me is the beer cantus during the incentive in 2018. The team weekend was awesome and perfectly organized and on the Saturday afternoon, we all enjoyed a beer cantus in German style. Perfect weather conditions, team spirit, a beautiful location and plenty of drinks; resulting in one big party.
Finally, what would you say to potential new team members?
Welcome to our world class team. The relatively flat hierarchy is touted as one of the defining features of the Interfood family culture and the young workforce is encouraged to come up with innovative ideas. If that’s something you’re looking for, don’t hesitate, you won’t regret it.
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