Yanis Fodil - Trader

The Interfood Academy is the perfect way to jumpstart your professional career as a dairy trader.

Hi Yanis, could you please introduce yourself?
My name Yanis Fodil, I am 26 years old and I am a Trader at Interfood BV. I grew up in Algeria, where my family is still living today. During my studies I have travelled a lot, expanding my knowledge at multiple universities and colleges and experiencing many cultural differences. After my last study International Commerce at Pace University in New York City, USA, I moved to the Netherlands to join the Interfood Academy.

What was your motivation to start a job at Interfood?
As far as I can remember I’ve always been attracted to the business world, whether it was trading cards when I was younger to starting a small business with my friend in high school, or later on using my commercial skills to finance non-profit associations in Africa. When I finished my business studies I wanted to use my skills and challenge myself on a bigger scale. Being a great school for trading, as well as providing us with an entrepreneurial environment to evolve in, Interfood was the perfect match for me.

Since you’re working for Interfood for a while now, what’s your favorite thing about Interfood?
What I like most about Interfood is the entrepreneurial spirit that we can find there. What I also like is the fact that at Interfood the ‘human aspect’ is important. I really respect and share that vision and I think it is important to keep that vision while growing, because at the end the most important asset of a company is its people.

Fat filled milk powder

About your job at Interfood, what does your average working week look like?
Well, we always start the week with the traders meeting, an important meeting on Monday morning in which all the important information is being shared. During that meeting the strategy and targets for that week are being defined as well. After that meeting I make a report that I send to all our traders around the world. I believe it is an important document because it will help each trader by having a lot of information condensed in one document, which makes it easier for them to incorporate some of the information during conversations with their clients.

After that I usually call my clients to give them an update on the international markets, follow up on their needs and on our ongoing business. The rest of the week is a mix between finding new leads, closing some deals and constantly trying to improve my knowledge on dairy.

Sometimes I have the opportunity to visit our clients and suppliers and to travel to various African countries. Together with team Africa I am responsible for the African dairy market and it’s always fun to visit the continent I was born. Like in the picture on the left side, I am visiting a market in Africa where our own brand ‘5 Star’ is being sold.

Something fun to mention as well, it does occur a couple of times a year, as we are visiting exhibition fairs for the dairy industry. For example the SIAL in Paris or the Gulfood in Dubai. These events are a valuable addition to my daily work as we get to speak to our clients and suppliers in a different kind of business environment, meeting face to face.

What do you like the most about your job?
What I like most about my job is the cultural diversity we’re constantly evolving in. If we are not travelling around the world to meet new people, we are at the office having discussions with people from various cultures, constantly learning from one another.

How about your work-life balance?
Taking into account that I am 30 years old and that I don’t have a family, yet, (my evenings will be busier when I will), my work allows me to have some free time for sports, studies and readings in the evenings. Sometimes I’m able to travel and meet with friends on weekends, so all together I can say that I have a pretty well-balanced life.

Since you started at Interfood by joining the Interfood Academy, what is the Interfood Academy all about?
The academy is an intensive 4-weeks program in which all our future traders learn all the aspects of the dairy industry.

- Week 1: After an introduction to the work space and the company, visits to our cheese warehouse, a big farm and a milk powder factory, we focus on studying liquid milk, skimmed milk powder and full cream milk powder. We also get to learn more about our hubs in Western Europe. Africa and the Middle East.

- Week 2: We have a commercial and cultural awareness training, we study cheeses (we even go and make some ourselves), we visit another factory and we dive deeper into quality management and logistics.

- Week 3: Main focus is finance and insurances, we visit an international insurance company for a full day ,we study risk management and treasury and we learn more about butter and AMF.

- Week 4: We have a commercial training where we learn some tips and tricks. We also get informed about our hubs in Asia and the Americas and finally we prepare for our final exam.

The Interfood Academy turned out to be the perfect way to jumpstart my professional career as a dairy trader because we learn a lot about both our company and the dairy industry.

How do you see your future at Interfood?
I think there is still a lot to learn from this industry, which is changing every day. I see a future full of knowledge, opportunities and challenges to overcome, which in my opinion is an exciting future.

Junior Commodity Trader

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