Gerard Backx is the current chief executive officer of the HZPC Holding BV group. He is a successful leader in the agricultural industry. The business that he leads is involved with the development of new potato varieties that are used for seed potatoes. The products are shipped to more than 80 countries throughout the world. Mr. Backx has an impressive curriculum vitae but he has worked hard to achieve the success that he currently enjoys. Here are 10 things about Gerard Backx that you probably didn’t know that you might find inspirational.
1. Backx has been with HZPC Holding BV for almost 2 decades
Mr. Backx joined the company in August of 2001. According to ILP Vegetable, He has worked at the job for a total of 19 years and 6 months. He was immediately appointed as the CEO of the company that was formed from a merger of two seed potato businesses that were mid-sized. Together, they became a leader in the seed potato industry. Backx was brought on board right after the merger took place.
2. He is a native of the Netherlands
Gerard Backx was born in the Netherlands in 1959. This makes him 60 years old as of 2020. This is the country that he grew up in and forged his professional career in leadership within the country’s agricultural industry.
3. He is college-educated
Mr. Backx attended Wageningen University. This is where he learned the ins and outs of plant breeding. He majored in this area, also studying the marketing of these agricultural products. This helped to prepare him for the work that he does today.
4. Gerard began his professional career in 1984
Backx’s first job after college was for the VanderHave seed company. He joined the company in 1984 and started his career as a sugar beet seed salesman. His territory was in the international market. He started at the bottom part of the industry, but his exposure to the different varieties gave him valuable information about the products. It didn’t take him long to work his way into middle management and then eventually, top leadership.
5. Gerard’s career evolved into management, then leadership
Backx worked his way up the career ladder through the years. His work with VanderHave provided him with a degree of upward mobility. He served as an international salesperson. He advanced into a variety of different management positions, adding the sale of grass seeds to the sugar beet seed products. He was still with the company in 1966 when VanderHave merged with another similar company to become Advanta. Backx was appointed to the executive board of Avanta in 1998. He stayed with Avanta until the opportunity to move to HZPC came up according to his Linkedin page.
6. He believes in sustainability
Backx leads HZPC to make his company more sustainable, according to Business Insider. Potatoes are a sustainable commodity anyway because they provide a huge supply of nutrition with very little water. The company is continually looking for more ways to create sustainability in its operations.
7. Gerard is big on social responsibility
As the leader of a major seed potato company, Backx has made corporate social responsibility a high priority. The company was lacking in this area when he took over. In the last 10 years, he started looking for new strategies. One of the ways that the business has accomplished this is to develop new and improved potato breeds that reach maturity sooner. One of his goals is to continue to improve corporate social responsibility.
8. He believes in conservation
Mr. Backx strongly believes that his company can do more to conserve energy and lower waste. He has examined the energy footprint of the business to find ways to reduce energy use, the amount of water that is used, and to cut back on the amount of waste generated. These are ways that he is contributing to a more positive impact on the environment in the future.
9. He looks out for his partners and clients
Mr. Backx is highly respected by those who contract with his company because he takes care of the workers. He and the board have developed a profit-sharing program that allows growers to make yet more profit. This makes the growers more likely to sign on to produce potatoes for the company because they make more money when the market is good. On top of this, he also listens to what the people who are the end consumers are telling him. When one person who is diabetic asked if it was possible to produce potatoes that were lower in carbohydrates, he set his researchers on the task. They developed a type of french fry that was much lower in carbohydrates for populations with special dietary needs. This shows that he listens to the requests that are made from people who buy their products, and does what he can to address these needs.
10. He is a multi-skilled professional
According to Rocket Reach, Gerard Backx has a multitude of skills that he has honed over the past several decades. This is what has helped to make him the dynamic leader that he is today. He is an expert in the agribusiness industry with a focus on seed potatoes and food products. Among his top priorities are food safety, sustainable agriculture, and product ingredients. He has extensive knowledge of food processing and strategic planning. His customer service skills are top-notch. He is consistently striving to find better ways of managing his company and increasing the sustainability of the company to leave a smaller carbon footprint. He stands as a role model for men and women in the agricultural industry who have a desire to advance to a top leadership position. He has set a solid example of social and corporate responsibility. He shows that a business can still be profitable and care about environmental issues at the same time.