You don't have to leave the Netherlands to pursue a career at a multinational company with a customer base in over 160 countries, almost 25,000 employees, and net sales of 11.5 billion euros. Tetra Pak is located in Heerenveen. It is known as a packaging company, but also as an engineer of premium cheese machines that are successful worldwide.
You will find it in every home: in the fridge or in the pantry. And everyone knows its name: Tetra Pak. The packaging group has other divisions as well, however. The Cheese and Powder Systems B.V. business unit, for example, designs, manufactures and installs equipment for cheese and whey production. Given that the Dutch are excellent at all things dairy and good machine builders, a combination is guaranteed to be successful. Maarten de Vos, Operations, Projects and Engineering Manager, has to agree.
How are things in the cheese business?
'We get plenty of requests. We have also noticed that the economy is doing well. At the moment, our liquid filled cheese machines are keeping us particularly busy, but we are also focusing on further strengthening the market in machines for semi-hard, cheddar and mozzarella cheese. As a global market leader, we supply worldwide. The international vibe is palpable when you walk around here in Heerenveen. The company was traditionally based in Sweden and currently has its head office in Switzerland with branches in Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States, and many more sales offices all over the world.'
Please tell us more about this international vibe?
'As an employee, you have to deal with many different nationalities, both in Heerenveen and the other locations. People are equally sociable everywhere. No matter where you're based or where the job takes you, you're always a part of Tetra Pak, never an outsider. Because every colleague knows the Tetra standards and values, they can move around and rotate freely. We go out with the market company to see customers and work together to achieve successful projects. This allows people to gain a lot of international experience, even within Tetrapak. You may find yourself in a team with Brazilians, Indians and Australians, or sometimes only with Dutch people.'
What do you learn from this?
'If you are open to getting to know other cultures, things can move very fast. It is extremely useful and enriches people. It does for me, in any case. You also learn to build bridges and to communicate effectively.'
"INTERNATIONAL VIBE AT HEERENVEEN"
What are the typical Tetra Pak values?
'Our motto is "Protects what's good". This applies not only to our products but also to the people and consumers to whom we supply our products. We always go for the highest achievable goal; for the highest standard and the best quality for our customers and therefore for the consumer. When it comes to our employees, we provide a healthy working environment to ensure optimal performance. Good results lead to satisfied customers and vice versa.'
Is career growth possible?
'If we see potential in people, we always encourage it, but we also expect people to have the drive to invest in themselves. Our own Tetra Pak University offers employees every opportunity to fulfil their ambitions. If you want to improve your presentation skills, that is possible. We understand the added value of continuously enriching people. Tetra Pak offers a lot of room for self-initiative, also in the daily work. It helps people grow.'
What makes working for Tetra Pak unique?
'The open culture, the friendly atmosphere and the willingness to help each other. You don't find this everywhere. It's as if we are one family; that's unique. In addition, we supply excellent machines that match our slogan. The end product we deliver, makes us stand out from the crowd. Our machines are bought for their performance and high-end class; they live up to our customers' expectations. There is a reason why our customers are large dairy companies with high-quality standards. Our standards are the highest, at all times. We always make sure that we stay on top of them. It makes us proud.'
Why should people apply here if they are happy in a job elsewhere?
'Besides having great colleagues, the business is interesting in and of itself; dairy is such a wonderful world. You will get to know the journey of milk and discover that you are dealing with seasons. It's fascinating! It is a big world that is, at the same time, small in terms of suppliers, customers, etc. We all know each other all over the world. Another reason is that there are many opportunities for self-development and to discover for yourself where the bar lies. You can count on the support of colleagues and managers. If you realise that, you have come to the right place.'