Willem Cranenbroek

Willem started working at Vion immediately after graduation and has held various positions over the past years, such as planner, product manager and sales manager. Since 2019, he is general manager at ME-AT responsible for managing the team within Vion's new start-up for vegetable products.

In this initial phase, the ME-AT team focuses on landing orders for the new products, while the conversion of the production location in Leeuwarden is still under way at the same time. The team also investigates new products and raw materials and sets the direction for ME-AT to become a major player in meat alternatives. "This is a fantastic challenge for us. New and innovative products, a growth market and lots of positive reactions, both internally and externally. This gives us positive energy all the time and gives me the drive to create something great together with the team."
Willem Cranenbroek
General manager ME-AT
Hoofdkantoor Boxtel
Wageningen University & Research: Bachelor in Animal Science and Master in Food Quality
QA manager, planner, product manager, commercial manager and general manager.

What are you learning in your current job?

To let go and trust others. With so many new and different challenges within a single company, it is especially important to let people do what they’re good at. My management style is content-based and I want to know everything, but that’s impossible now because everything is new. So I have to be able to trust that we have the right people in the right place and that they help us make the ME-AT team a success. As far as content is concerned, I also learn every day from all the projects for which the team is responsible (from the ingredients of a vegan product to working together with retail in different countries, but also what you need to consider when installing water pipes in a plant, etc).


What is Vion like as an employer?

There are plenty of opportunities in an organisation like Vion. Vion is a very dynamic company, which continually presents new challenges as well as new opportunities. There are plenty of personal opportunities when you are willing to be flexible. For example, I’ve recently contributed to Vion’s new strategy for the next 5 years. This was fun and educational, looking at the company together with the Executive Board, colleagues from different disciplines and a consultancy firm and determining the new strategy.
Moreover, everyone at Vion is very approachable, from production staff to executive management. This makes Vion a great employer and a great company to work for. As a meat producer, Vion is often under a lot of scrutiny. And as a player in the commodity industry, we have to work as best we can every day to outperform everyone else in the market. This is only possible by responding flexibly and having short lines of communication. We’ve also observed a greater need for information among consumers. We make sure this information is actually available by being transparent in what we do.