Bas van Driel is a Business unit manager with an international mindset. His daily work activities concern LabelCompliance; the business unit of KTBA with all of the knowledge regarding labelling in accordance with international laws and regulations. Bas was born in Rotterdam in the sixties and stems from a catering family; his father had an ice-cream parlor and cafetaria, he was a pastrycook and a chef.
“Every since I was a child I have felt my talents are on the languages and humanities side. I was extremely interested in languages, cultures and history. Particularly the European. Still, after high school, I studied to be a laboratory technician; after all, all my friends did the same. Once I got into it, I was not disappointed. Although my dislike of mathematics and technology never disappeared. The studies that I did later on were more to my liking; I completed a number of HBO laboratory educational programmes and after that, an MBA that focussed particularly on the international aspect.”
“As the Business unit manager for KTBA LabelCompliance, I monitor the budget, I roll out new strategies and I decide on organisational issues; for example, whether or not the team functions well. I am convinced that you have to ensure a good and pleasant working environment and that you must demonstrate to have faith in your team members. That is how you encourage each employee to do the best that he/she can. My work also involves keeping in contact with clients, on both a strategic as well as an operational level. In addition, a significant part of my work concerns building relationships that are valuable to LabelCompliance. Which is why I attend many (networking) events, such as recently the European Food and Feed Law Conference, where food professionals from throughout Europe come together.”
“At LabelCompliance, our daily activities concern labelling that is geared to the laws and regulations of a specific country. In the case of European countries, there are times when I can use the European regulations to our own advantage. Take France, for example. That country states the origin of certain ingredients, while promoting the principle that French ingredients are the best ingredients. This is one way in which countries attempt to protect the domestic market and to promote political interests. My interest in Europe can come in handy in such cases. It is interesting to see how cultural and political processes play a role in the food industry. The fact that I am currently active in this sector is undoubtedly related to the catering blood that flows through my family. To me, KTBA is like a family business that delivers important and concrete results.”
“The expansion of Labelchecks.com, a concept that enables potential clients to apply for a label check online and that helps clients with label translations and testing a label against statutory regulations, is high on the list of priorities. As it is, there is much interest for Labelchecks.com on the international level.
In addition, since a year now, LabelCompliance has supplied the marketability report: a statement stipulating that a product meets the quality requirements and bears the correct consumer information on the label. A marketability report is a guarantee of quality for food manufacturers and retailers. This is where my laboratory background comes in handy. In the future, I want to invest more time in the marketability report and further develop this service.
Finally, I want to focus on the area of tension between legislation, quality and marketing; labels that comply with all of the laws and guidelines are not necessarily appealing to the consumer, whereas slick marketing texts, on the other hand, do not always comply with the statutory standards. I would like to examine how we at LabelCompliance can evolve alongside the consumer without sacrificing quality. In short, more than enough ambition for the future.”