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Ardo Names Gabrielle Kalkwijk as New Chief Executive Officer

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Gabrielle Kalkwijk will take up the position of Group CEO at Ardooie, Belgium-headquartered Ardo on October 1, succeeding Rik Jacob who retired earlier this summer. The family owned company, an important world player in the production of a complete range of fresh-frozen vegetables, herbs and fruit for retail, foodservice and industrial clients, made the announcement on August 28.

Mrs. Kalkwijk, who is Dutch, is a graduate of the Agricultural University of Wageningen in the Netherlands. Until October 1, she will remain on the job as president of global manufacturing operations for Dawn Foods, an American family business specializing in the production of bakery ingredients and frozen bakery products produced at 17 factories, seven of which are in Europe. The company serves a customer base of bakers, foodservice operators, retailers and industrial accounts. Net sales last year amounted to $1.8 billion.

Mrs. Kalkwijk joined Dawn Foods in 2011 as vice president for operations and supply chain in Europe as well as Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific (AMEAP), where she was responsible for purchasing, production, supply chain, quality, regulatory and safety, and achieved strong results year after year.

Prior to 2011, she spent 20 years with FrieslandCampina working in a variety of plant manager and operations manager roles in different European countries. She lived and worked in the Netherlands, Poland, Russia and Germany before her promotion to group operations director for butter in 2008.

Philippe Haspeslagh, chairman of Ardo’s board of directors, expressed complete satisfaction with her appointment: “After a careful selection process by the board and shareholders, we are pleased that Mrs. Kalkwijk is taking on the exciting challenge of leading Ardo. In addition to the wealth of international experience that she has gained in the food industry, we were particularly impressed by her leadership qualities in both developing people and creating results.”

Kalkwijk added: “I could not ignore the challenge of becoming Ardo’s chief executive officer. The entrepreneurship of the Haspeslagh family is contagious. I love the products and the vision of the company, that clearly values quality and sustainability. There is a huge future for those who, like Ardo, are innovative in the plant-based food industry and efficient in creating products. To that end, I see the development of the organization and its people, as my most important task.”

The new eco will take up her duties on October 1, and following a short introductory period assume charge of the management team and the company, reporting to the board of directors.

Ardo Group has a global sales network and 21 production, distribution and packing units in nine countries, ensuring optimal sourcing from the most productive growing regions. Employing approximately 4,000 people, the company markets more than 940,000 tons to over 100 countries per annum, generating turnover exceeding €1.1 billion.