As of the first of April Nico Broersen is the new chairperson of the Sustainable Nut Initiative (SNI). His main goal is to further expand SNI’s role as a catalyst in making nut supply chains more sustainable. Nico succeeds Wim Schipper (Intersnack Procurement) who has led the SNI board ad interim for the past year.

Wim Schipper: “I am very happy with Nico Broersen as the new chairperson. Over the past years, The Sustainable Nut Initiative has become a platform for collaboration of a group of committed companies. They are working towards sustainable supply chains and aim to find sustainable solutions for the future of the sector. We’ve created a model that allows participants to contribute to sector change that goes beyond certification. Thanks to the identification of sustainability risks by BSR™, participants have a starting point for the development of risk mitigation plans.

SNI has set a baseline and is recognised as authority on sustainability issues in the nut value chains. We are now ready for the next phase: setting priorities within the joint objectives, further developing and implementing instruments and growing the participant base. In the future SNI will increase  knowledge  to contribute to improvement of farmer livelihoods and working conditions in the processing plant. The portfolio of SNI will expand to other nut value chains.With the knowledge and experience that Nico brings, I’m confident that under his leadership we will take SNI to the next level”.

A fair food system
Nico comes from a horticultural family from the Northwest part of Holland. As a child he worked in the fields with his father: growing potatoes, onions and cauliflowers, as well as flower bulbs. It is here that he learned more about fair prices in the supply chain: during a potato surplus his dad sold his potatoes at the auction and received only a few cents per kilo. Meanwhile potatoes were sold at a grocery store for 20 cents per kilo. How was this possible?

Nico was co-founder of Natudis BV, a distributor of organic products. He worked over 14 years on the development of organic products and brands. “During this period I experienced that requirements from retailers with regards to certification and standards are increasing. It becomes very difficult for farmers in the world to become certified and to comply with all these different market requirements. This motivated me to start with a new initiative called AgriPlace. Agriplace helps farmers to become certified and supports traders, retailers and food companies to manage and monitor all compliance documents and data in their supply chain. Our mission is to help create social just and sustainable food supply chains.”

Jointly resolve sustainability issues

“A platform like  the Sustainable Nut Initiative is important because it is the chain’s responsibility to jointly resolve issues. This cannot be done by one link in the chain, this requires collaboration between all actors and stakeholders. Opposing interests can occur in the chain, but you also have common interests. Information exchange and awareness between chain partners is important. I hope that we make ourselves redundant in a number of years”.

Stimulate the process of collaboration

Nico: “As chairperson I would like to stimulate the process of collaboration. I want to stimulate the sector to jointly think about important questions like: Where do we want to go, are we ambitious enough and can we define common milestones? I see my role as supportive and stimulating but I also want to hold participants accountable for what they agree on. Together with our board members and the participants, I want to work on the further development of strategies and tools to address industry bottlenecks, share and act on lessons learned, bundle resources and scale up impact”.

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