Joost van Ruijven

  • Accountmanager
  • 7 December 2022

Joost is proud to have developed more than 100 products with the team in 40 years of Beekenkamp Packaging.

On the early morning of 30 November, I am cheerfully welcomed by Joost van Ruijven. After we have taken a seat in the meeting room, he starts talking enthusiastically about his job as account manager at Beekenkamp Packaging.

How it all started…

It is May 2006, Joost starts in the Customer Service department of Beekenkamp Packaging. After completing his degree in business administration, he decides to start his first full-time job. 16 years later and having progressed several times, he still enjoys working at Beekenkamp Packaging. The decision he took at 23, he later describes as “one of the best choices of my life”.

Joost talks about how his work at Beekenkamp has made him who he is today. That he came in as a quiet, shy boy 16 years ago seems a thing of the past. “A commercial job turned out to suit me so well that I completely blossomed. Partly because of this, a few years later I got the chance to advance to the field of sales, as an account manager.” Whereas he initially started with only customers in the south of the Netherlands, his territory has grown over the years to include customers throughout Europe, especially in the German-speaking regions.

Over the years, Joost has seen the entire Group grow and professionalise into the company it is today. “When I started here, we worked with fax and mail, now almost everything goes digital,” he says. Beekenkamp Group has since grown into a multi-million dollar company. The nice thing is that the Packaging team is small, we are very close-knit and I still work with many of the same people as 16 years ago.”

Connected to the entire Beekenkamp Group…

At Beekenkamp Packaging in the office, no day is the same. The team is small and the lines of communication are short. Joost says: “Because the team is so small, I do a lot more than just sell our products. When a trade fair arrives, we sit down with the whole team to make it a success. Everyone can give their opinion and is involved in everything, which makes the work very diverse.”

So what does his day look like when he is not in the office? Then he is mainly on the road to customers. These are also often abroad, where he is always welcomed with open arms. “Foreign companies look up to the horticultural knowledge from the Netherlands, they are incredibly interested, which always makes me feel very welcome”.

Its customer base is strongly horticulture-oriented, yet very diverse. From the soft fruit sector to vegetable growers and the flower bulb industry, Beekenkamp Verpakkingen listens to the customer and can develop a custom-made tray, bin or crate for any company. A new sector the company is moving into is the insect industry. In collaboration with an insect breeder, a tray was developed for the professional rearing of insects. “As Beekenkamp Packaging, this gives us the opportunity to step into a new market, which is hugely challenging and fun. This is because it brings me into contact with completely different people and ways of thinking. I learn an awful lot from this, and I can eventually apply this knowledge again in other sectors”.

Every year, the company comes up with a number of innovations in both new and existing markets. For example, it recently developed a strawberry tray that allows growers to grow their strawberry plants in a new, innovative way. But companies under Beekenkamp Group are also good customers. For instance, they developed the sustainable BKX trays for Beekenkamp Plants Ornamentals, for Deliflor Chrysanthemums the sliding cutting tray and for Beekenkamp Plants Vegetables the nursery plant trays in which both fruit and field vegetables are transported.  “Affinity with the products is something we have anyway. It’s just a walk to the neighbours and we can start,” Joost says with a laugh.

What Joost likes most about his work is scoring a new order. “It gives me a kick,” he says, “and then arranging the best for that client with the whole team. I may be the liaison between client and office, but we really do it together. It’s a super fun challenge to keep innovating in an existing market, it’s addictive.”

Proud

Next year, Beekenkamp Verpakkingen celebrates its 40th anniversary. And Joost is proud of that. “To have been part of it for so many years and to have been able to serve so many sectors with tailor-made sustainable products, you can’t help but be proud. I do really feel part of the Beekenkamp family by now, but you quickly get that feeling here. And before you know it, 16 years have passed,” he says, laughing.

So Joost will be fine for the time being at Beekenkamp Packaging, maybe it’s even meant to be. It couldn’t be otherwise if you come from the same year of birth as the company itself. 😉

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