Value creation

Sustainable value chain

We take our responsibility towards our various stakeholders in the value chain very seriously. Our fundament for creating a sustainable value chain is built on being a responsible, well-respected and reliable organisation while at the same time seizing business opportunities that support our growth strategy.

Safety & compliance

Food safety

We adhere to the strictest food safety standards to ascertain the safety of the food supply chains we are active in. We actively promote transparency of product information and comply with the most stringent international regulations. Our warehouses are ISO 22000 and HACCP certified, and apply a high-level processing risk management system. These certifications allow us to demonstrate to our stakeholders that we comply with international food safety standards.

We are approved by the US Army Public Health Command (USAPHC) for our food distribution to military operations, which enables us to supply US Army caterers. Additionally, we are an officially registered supplier to the United Nations Global Marketplace (UNGM), the common procurement portal of the United Nations system of organisations. This enables us to participate in tender processes for United Nations contracts.

In the Netherlands, where we operate most of our warehouses, we are subject to the supervision of the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), which performs audits of our compliance with the HACCP system. Food products received at our warehouses are subject to comprehensive quality controls and are stored in climate-controlled environments.

Customs compliance

As we are a vital part of the international supply chain and are involved in customs-related operations, we adhere to a range of criteria that grants us the status of Authorised Economic Operator. This status allows us to work in close cooperation with customs authorities to assure the common objective of supply chain security based on the principles of mutual transparency, correctness, fairness and responsibility. We are subject to the Union Customs Code (UCC), the EU regulation that provides rules and procedures for products that are brought into or are taken out of the customs territory of the European Union.

Long term relationships

We promote trust and respectful relations with our customers and suppliers, as well as with shareholders, governmental and non-governmental bodies and other authorities.

We pursue a principled and transparent tax strategy that aims to support our overall business strategy. In this respect, regular meetings are conducted with tax authorities to discuss duties, customs, corporate income tax and VAT. Furthermore, we maintain good relations with the Dutch customs authority with regards to our status as an Authorised Economic Operator.

To ensure that relevant information is shared with and accessible to all our stakeholders, we provide quality information on company developments promptly, simultaneously and fully via this corporate website and through market regulators.

Innovative supply chain

In 2012 we laid the groundwork for our current automated procurement services to e-commerce platforms and end-customers by implementing the Autostore system in our HTG operations. Since then, we have continued to invest in scaling our existing technologies and integrating complementary automated solutions that enable us to expand our role as value adding distributor.

As part of our 2020-2022 strategic focus, we marked digital transformation as one of our key growth areas for the coming years. One of our priorities in this area is to further develop our digital supply chain, by continuing to digitise our warehousing operations throughout the Group.

Energy use & waste management

We aim to reduce our CO2 footprint through energy efficient warehouses and offices. As an example, we use geothermal energy as a heating / cooling source and motion detection lightning to reduce energy consumption. In 2019 we started implementing solar panels on selected warehouses in the Netherlands. We aim to expand the use of this renewable energy source at other warehouses in the coming years. We are also working to reduce CO2 emissions by improving efficiency through automation and robotisation of our warehousing activities.

In our day-to-day operations we seek to reduce waste in a number of ways, such as promoting a paperless office, by using reusable drinking cups from recycled material, and by reducing, reusing and recycling packaging material in our warehouses. For the coming years, we plan to advance our approach in selecting, measuring and reporting on energy and emissions matters deemed relevant to our various business activities.

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