Working at the Foundation FSSC 22000
Cornelie Glerum and Liliana Jimenez about their vacancy of Ceritification Integrity Planner and the dynamics of the organization21 jun. 2021
FSSC 22000 nowadays is a renowned food safety scheme in the food sector. The scheme was first developed in the Netherlands eleven years ago in order to meet a strong demand for an alternative for already existing food safety schemes. Since then, both the scheme and the Foundation FSSC (‘FSSC’) have been developing quickly. Within FSSC there are now 25 employees, from which 15 work in the Netherlands. The scheme is continuously optimized to better suit changing requirements and needs. Many organizations in the food sector are in some way touched by the work of FSSC and therefore the company plays an important role in international food safety. Professionals in Food spoke with both Cornelie Glerum, Director Operations, and Liliana Jimenez, Integrity Program Manager, about the developments within the company and the current vacancy of Certification Integrity Planner.
Cornelie, you have been part of FSSC since it originated. How did you get involved with the company and what made you stay all this time?
“After my law studies I started working for Foundation SCV (Foundation for Certification and Food Safety). This Foundation developed the FSSC Scheme on request of large food manufacturers like Unilever, Kraft and Coca Cola. These brands were in need of a new, independent and ISO based food safety scheme governed by a non-profit organization.
The scheme consists of a set of standards and criteria that assure food safety in the whole supply chain. We published the scheme, which is approved by the Global Food Safety initiative (GFSI), in 2009 and from there on more and more companies started implementing it and the scope has expanded from food manufacturing to other sectors like transport and catering.
The beauty of working at FSSC
In 2015 we split off FSSC from Foundation SCV and set it up as a stand-alone entity. We are a Dutch non-profit foundation that aims to contribute to affordable, safe and good quality foods. At the moment we have over 25.000 certificates worldwide. It is a truly international scheme, based on an independent ISO standard. Every year I think that next year will be a little less turbulent, but up to now this has never been the case. That is also part of the beauty of working at FSSC.
"At FSSC we are pioneering and continuously improving our processes"
We are pioneering and continuously improving our processes. Every day is different from the day before and the spirit within the company is wonderful. We all have the same ambition to make a true positive impact by creating a better world. Moreover I was able to develop myself over the years, which kept it more than interesting to work for FSSC. At the moment I am responsible for Finance, Quality and HR within the organization”.
The company is continuously developing. Which developments are currently taking place at FSSC?
Cornelie: “One of the main themes at the moment is our digital transformation. We want to do more with our data, both in terms of analysis as in terms of sharing these data. All details regarding the 25.000 FSSC certificates issued are recorded in our Portal. These data form the basis on which we run our integrity program. At the same time we are working on a large project that makes it possible for the certified companies to get access to these data and maybe, in the future, also to the data of their suppliers. This will have a large positive impact on the ease with which food safety can be assured in the whole chain.
Looking for opportunities
Also, as our scheme is based on ISO standards, we are looking for opportunities to not only maintain a scheme for food safety, but also for other ISO standards, such as social, environmental and sustainability. In this way we will not only be able to positively impact food safety, but also other important issues regarding the production and distribution of food worldwide. Our mission is to create a better world and enable our clients to deliver a positive impact. Both projects will make a great contribution to realising this mission”.
At the moment, you are looking for a Certification Integrity Planner. How did this vacancy originate?
Liliana: “We were looking for ways to improve our efficiency. At the moment, the Integrity Program Officer spends a lot of time on planning, which means she can spend less time on projects relating to the Integrity Program. With the growth of the company, planning becomes more and more important. Therefore we decided to take the responsibility for the planning away from the Integrity Program Officer and created a new position of Certification Integrity Planner within the company”.
Cornelie: “Also, due to the growth of our team, the planning becomes more complex. If somebody is working dedicated on efficient planning, we hope he or she will be able to contribute to the improvement of our internal processes. Focus is key”.
What type of person are you looking for to fill this vacancy?
Liliana: “It is very important that you find pleasure in organizing and problem solving. You need to have a pragmatic attitude towards arising planning issues and be able to quickly see opportunities. Of course it is extremely important that you can be kind but firm in your communication. Things need to be done quickly, but also in a pleasant way. Because many of the companies we work with are located internationally, your English language skills are important. Also, it is important to be culturally sensitive. Dealing with, for example, Western cultures a different approach compared to dealing with Eastern cultures.
"Our team makes the difference"
Fun to work
We do not have specific requirements on a particular field of study, however the candidate should have a bachelor degree or more. Experience in organizing and planning is a must, just as some tolerance for working with not yet optimized planning systems. It will improve in the future, but at the moment we still use excel and outlook for some of our planning processes. Last but not least: we are looking for a colleague that is fun to work with. Our team consists of people from different cultural backgrounds and personalities, but we also share a common attitude towards our work. We are very client-oriented, energetic, pro-active, collaborative and committed to doing good”.
What can FSSC offer potential interesting candidates?
Liliana: “We are a unique organization. Small, but well-known and internationally oriented. It is without a doubt a good thing to have FSSC on
your resume. Besides that, it is just fun to work here. The work in itself is challenging and rewarding, but the team makes the true difference. We work together, both horizontally as vertically, and this will also be the case for the planner. The organization-structure is pretty flat and everybody is approachable.
"We offer a challenging, idealistic and fun working environment"
Therefore there is a lot of variety in your work and your contacts. Furthermore, it is wonderful to contribute to the developments that are taking place, both within the company as in food safety worldwide. We also invest in the development of our people, for example by providing relevant training opportunities”.
Cornelie: “Although a lot of work is being done from home, we do enjoy each other’s company. We offer a well-balanced work and social environment with flexibility to work from home.
The certification integrity planner will closely collaborate with our IP officers, but also with the IP assessors. These people are visiting our licensed certification bodies worldwide to check how they operate and to make sure they comply with the scheme requirements. Most of the work is registered in our Portal. Because we are working on the improvement of this Portal, the planner can also put a stamp on the adjustments done in order to reduce the sensitivity for errors and improve efficiency. In this way he or she can make an important contribution to the developments within the organization.
All together we offer a challenging, idealistic and fun working environment, in which there is room for personal development and enough flexibility for a good work-life balance. Besides that, we also have a remuneration package that is in line with the job and its requirements”.
Do you want to know more about Foundation FSSC and their vacancy for a Certification Integrity Planner? Please contact Sathya van Velzen on +31(0)85-105022 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.