Business Leader

Where will you be working          
Avebe started as “Aardappelmeel Verkoop Bureau” in 1919. At that time only to improve sales for several independent potato starch cooperatives. Now, a 102 years later, we are continuously producing and improving solutions based on potato starch and proteins for food, industry and animal feed. The Avebe cooperative has grown to a global leader in potato starch.

The mission of Avebe is to provide healthy, nutritious and environmentally friendly ingredients for sustainable food systems. Results over the last few years have been positive and combined with a strong focus on innovation mirroring tomorrows food trends, we are positioned to leverage our capabilities. An ambitious but realistic strategy has been defined driving sustainable growth in revenue (almost €600million in 2017) and more importantly value.

A new Managing Director Commerce has been appointed recently who will be active in this position as of August the 1st. The new strategy has been put in place and parallel to this a commercial department has been restructured since 2018 with clearer accountabilities through amongst others appointing  Business Leaders responsible for their respective markets  with support from multiple disciplines through a cross functional way of working. The position Business Leader Food is vacant.

This role will report to the Managing Director Commerce. The location for this role will be predominantly Groningen. Avebe provides support where necessary for candidates to find a workable solution if location is an issue.

Tasks & Responsibilities 
The Business Leader Food (BLF) will be responsible for the future growth of Avebe. The Business Unit Food is strategically the most important business unit. With an international team the BLF will lead Avebe to strengthen the position of Avebe as market leader in potato based ingredients for healthy, nutritious and eco-friendly food, creating more value in selected growth markets.

The position is relatively new and the ambition is high. Structures need to be developed as a way of working, both driving stronger and more professional collaboration. The strategies and some of the KPI’s have been defined to realize the goals. The challenge is putting what’s on paper in practice.

Next, there are some specific business challenges that could provide issues for the Business Leader to build his or her business as quickly as possible. Most obvious is the tension between supply and demand (e.g. protein).

Education & Experience

  • In possession of a bachelor or master degree and being able to work and think at university level;
  • Hands-on visionary with an inspiring and empowering leadership style;
  • Can-do mentality;
  • Trustworthy positive personality fitting with Avebe and the shareholders;
  • Strong commercial, operational and financial acumen;
  • Capable of being the authority of Avebe, the innovative and value adding aspects;
  • Minimum of 8 years of experience, with a preference of recent and relevant experience within the Food/Ingredients/Specialties industry;
  • Substantial international commercial experience;
  • Successful in driving a growth and change agenda in complex environment;
  • Preference for someone with an international network at Board level in the core markets of Avebe;
  • Proven track record as an effective team builder and leader, with ability to influence, motivate, mentor and direct; particularly adept at coaching technically orientated individuals into a more commercial mindset.


  • Quick in getting the confidence of people by being involved and open, including them in the changes moving forward;
  • Top-tier analytical skills, strategic thinking and project management skills;
  • Open and easy communication style;
  • Proactive, entrepreneurial and solution-oriented.

What do we offer?
In Avebe, we continuously search for employees who recognize themselves in the ambitions and core values of the company and want to contribute with passion and energy to the realization of our objectives! 

Avebe offers: 

  • A competitive primary and secondary benefits package; 
  • A very good pension scheme; 
  • A challenging job in a dynamic environment; 
  • Interesting career opportunities; 
  • Plenty of room for personal development 
  • Possibility to follow professional training courses; 
  • There is a good relocation and accommodation allowance scheme for candidates from outside the Northern region.

More information?            
Do you have any additional questions on this vacancy? Please contact Natasja Turksma (HR Business Partner Innovations & Commerce) 06 -29595369 or Chris Hollebek (Business Leader) at +31627035142.

Are you the one we're looking for? Then respond before 15th of August, 2021.  You can find the vacancy on

An assessment or social media check can be part of the procedure. The vacancy is published internally and externally at the same time. We do not appreciate acquisition on this vacancy.  N.B. you will always receive a response to your application!