Food producer Vion acts on its mission ‘Food that Matters’ every single day. It does so by providing over 100 million consumers worldwide daily with tasty, healthy food, sourced from an honest and transparent chain. The BU Beef is looking for a Strategist to act as the right hand to the COO. This role is perfect for strategy consultants at (Junior) Engagement Manager/Project Leader level who are excited about making their mark on an operational business that is focused on the future.
Quality food from a transparent supply chain
The best burger (made with excellent beef, or 100% plant-based); the best-cured ham; or crispy pork belly on Japanese ramen – odds are these products are sourced by and produced in one of Vion’s chains. Because Vion operates approximately 15 brands with fully integrated and demand-driven supply chains, focused on quality and sustainability. From the animal at the farm to the packaged meat, often with an external quality mark, at the retailer: Vion knows at all times what happens in its supply chains. The specific focus and positioning may differ per brand, but across the entire portfolio, Vion is set apart by excellent quality, food safety, and attention to animal welfare and sustainability. This perfectly fits Vion’s motto of Building Balanced Chains. In addition, Vion has added plant-based meat alternatives to its portfolio in 2019 – keeping the integral ‘Food that Matters’ strategy focused on providing protein as an essential component of the human body. The overall focus of the company has thus expanded to ‘food solutions’, rather than just meat – of course still within the context of transparent, integrated supply chains.
Vion Food Group has been the result of a 2003 merger between several meat producers in Germany and the Netherlands. The company’s head office is located in Boxtel, the Netherlands. In 2019, Vion realized a turnover of 5.1 billion euros. A total of nearly 12.5 thousand FTE work at the company. Vion operates 15 production sites for pork and 12 for beef, alongside two Food Service sites where plant-based and frozen products are made.
“In a world that is under pressure, we are building so-called ‘balanced chains’ to produce safe, healthy, and tasty food – whereby we create value as an essential chain partner in a future-proof ecosystem.”
– Ronald Lotgerink, CEO Vion
The future of beef
Since July 2020, Vion’s Beef division is being led by a new COO: David de Camp. David knows both Vion and the world of food and meat production like no other, having started his career in operational management within the industry. David’s mandate, besides running the business as usual, is to create and implement a strategy for ‘the Future of Beef’.
Significant changes are ongoing when it comes to consumer expectations and demand for beef. The focus is shifting from quantity to quality: Premium cuts, convenient packaging, and an emphasis on animal welfare. The ‘Future of Beef’ strategy will go hand in hand with a new operating model that allows Vion to successfully respond to these trends, staying ahead of the competition. The strategy also focuses on a sophisticated valorization of the product – i.e. the process of assigning different parts of the animal to the most appropriate and most valuable end product destinations. And in terms of the operating model, the business unit is looking to further streamline and reorganize business functions. This includes a more data- and demand-driven market approach and structuring sales and marketing differently than before.
“These market changes are the basis on which we are organizing ourselves. Using data, trends and insights into customer demands but also on the availability of livestock, we make choices regarding product types and the allocation of volumes to abattoirs. This results in a corresponding sales and operational plan for the entire Beef organization.”
– David de Camp, COO Beef
Vacancy: Strategist Beef
To support the COO in both the strategic and operational aspects of this mandate, Vion Beef is looking for a Strategist who will act as the right hand to the COO. They will have proven their worth in a (junior) manager position at one of the strategy consulting firms, and are now looking to further develop their skills in a central and strategic function within a highly operational environment.
The Strategist will support David in taking on all the projects that relate to the Future of Beef. They will also support in managing the operational aspects of running the division – including the implementation of the new operating model. This will entail travel throughout Germany and occasionally the Netherlands and Belgium. More importantly, it requires a strong set of communication and leadership skills – as production staff across the BU will need to understand and trust the new way of working.
The ideal candidate for this role also has strong analytical skills, allowing them to provide solid support to the COO on strategic issues – such as the preparation of board meetings or addressing a range of business topics. In this, they will work closely with Vion’s Result Delivery Office – created specifically to ensure company-wide support on strategy design and implementation. The Strategist Beef is fully able to manage projects independently and has the energy to run strategic projects either autonomously or with the help of one or two colleagues.
Working closely with the COO ensures high senior visibility for this role. Meanwhile, this landing spot at an operationally and productionally strong organization will allow an experienced consultant to directly add value from a strategic and conceptual point of view.