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Diana Krabbe

General Manager Operations At Fonterra Europe Manufacturing B.V.

Diana Krabbe thinks it is utterly fascinating that there is so much to be gained from a single product in terms of people's health. 'Not only for babies, but also for the elderly and active athletes. Milk can form the basis of an incredible variety of products; from nutritional ingredients to delicious end products.' In the past 30 years, Diana has gained experience with almost all the major dairy companies. She joined Fonterra, the largest dairy exporter in the world, in 2016. The dairy expert from New Zealand radiates pride. 'Pride of their roots, of the fact that they are a cooperation and also of their Heerenveen site, their first European location in full ownership. The company culture is open and informal, and focused on taking responsibility. Fonterra is ambitious: it is plain to see throughout the company.'


The core values are written on the wall in the cafeteria of the main offices in Amsterdam to remind us of this: cooperative spirit, do what's right, challenge boundaries, and make it happen. 'The same drive can also be seen at our production location in Heerenveen,' Diana assures us. In addition, the international atmosphere can be felt everywhere. 'Especially for ambitious young professionals, working at Fonterra Nederland is worthwhile. This is where we process the white gold, also known as whey, for the upper market segment. Those who grab the opportunities they come across, can expect a beautiful career. In a single year with Fonterra, I have already seen more of the world than in all the years before. Fonterra simply offers a lot of opportunities to enthusiastic and committed employees.'


At the moment we have an opportunity for dairy technologists with managerial ambitions. Our factory in Heerenveen is seeking a production supervisor. They will be the process manager's right hand. Together, they will take the team and the factory performance to a higher level by setting out the guidelines for the shop floor. They can call on their process technology colleague In New-Zealand for assistance. 'On the one hand it is all about technical performance: complying with standards and requirements as well as developing and improving processes. This also includes solving acute problems and participating in projects. In addition, the supervisor functions as an intermediary between management and team. In terms of proportion, this consists of 40% management and 60% technology. Operations lingo is a must for this position. Profound understanding of the profession is key. This means that you can shape your own position, as it were. Who would not want to do that?'


Diana, who is a member of the EMEA management team herself, calls the level at which the supervisor operates a breeding ground for future management positions. 'Those who have the right competencies and know-how, can expect to move up within the group. Further growth in Europe is our ambition, but there are plenty of opportunities further afield as well. In New Zealand for example, the management is prepared to hire people from abroad. Although the work culture is not quite the same, Dutch people tend to feel quickly at ease among the kiwis they also encounter in Amsterdam. 'The main difference is that Dutch people are much more direct, but otherwise there are many things that I would like to adopt. New Zealanders are very open, committed, and friendly, for instance, and they tend to see the positive side. The glass is always half full. Most employees feel happy in this kind of atmosphere. The world of dairy is always dynamic in any case.

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