Delia Bakker has been working at Seed Valley for 1 year. A great moment to speak with her and ask about her impression of this innovative sector and challenging role as program manager of Seed Valley!

Delia, on March 1, 2023, you transitioned from the marketing world to the green world. That must have been quite a change; how has the first year been for you?
“It’s been incredibly educational and, above all, very exciting! I’ve had the opportunity to peek behind the scenes at wonderful companies, meet very passionate colleagues, get to know the flourishing sector, and work on various projects. One example is the ‘Director for a Day’ initiative, where we collaborate with other parties in the Netherlands who are also committed to the Food and Flower industry, to allow as many HBO/WO students as possible to shadow a director from the sector for a day. And celebrating our 15th anniversary was, of course, a blast! We visited our partners with an ice cream truck as a thank you to all our ambassadors. And the anniversary event, where we had inspiring speakers on stage and I had my first experience speaking, was a great opportunity to reflect on all the achievements over the years.”

It’s great that you could join the Seed Valley collective in an anniversary year. Has this first year been a learning process? What did you not know when you started that you know now?
“Yes, it was definitely an exciting learning process. I didn’t realize that the seed sector invests significantly in R&D to develop impactful innovations that contribute to global food supply. Through seed innovation, we can produce more with less and cultivate crops in changing conditions.”

And if someone were to ask you now, ‘What are you proud of?’, what would your answer be?
“I’m proud that I made the decision to work at Seed Valley and contribute to the sector in this way. From the program office, we have the meaningful task of getting everyone excited about the countless opportunities at our partner companies, in the region, and of course, in the sector!”

That means you’re really in your element here. You’ve met many inspiring people over the past year. What stands out to you?
“Absolutely. Everyone has a passion for their work. This is something I’ve truly experienced over the past year. It’s fantastic to see everyone so enthusiastic about their work, in all areas from research to crop care.”

And speaking of the future; What plans are there for the coming year?
“We are relocating the program office to a new location in March, providing a comfortable workspace for my colleagues. New projects are in the pipeline. A sneak peek: this year, we’ll be focusing on vocational education (MBO). Of course, we’re looking beyond just this year and are in the process of redefining our long-term strategy. Here’s to an impactful year ahead!”