The eye for detail that Joost van der Hoogte has

"I would like to contribute to the ambitions that Boer & Croon has in the food sector and then specifically in the production segment."

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A passion for mechanical engineering, automation and innovation marks the career of Joost van der Hoogte. This experienced interim COO has intensified his ties with Boer & Croon and has started as an Associate Partner.


The mechanical engineer and business expert started his career in the pet food industry. "It was difficult to find people for the production in this sector because it doesn't always smell so great and the raw materials used are leftovers or waste. This created enormous pressure to automate processes and the sector was very forward-thinking in this."

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Joost knows how to tell some fascinating stories about this sector. The production of 'pet food' is very marketing-driven and plays in surprising ways with pet owners' perceptions. This poses the mechanical engineer a number of interesting challenges. "Adding some blood-coloured dye to the meat paste makes all the difference. Without the dye it's chicken, and with it, it's beef. It gets more complicated when the marketing department asks us to make chunks of different sizes. With straight and slanted slices, as if the 'meat' had been cut by hand; an artisanal product from the production line," Joost notes. "Then you have to work on making special cutting machines, which process the meat substance in intervals with a variety of slicing movements."


The production machines went all over the world and Joost accompanied them to install and fine-tune them. "A wonderful time," Joost looks back, "and about forty weeks a year in a foreign hotel room." An addition to the family drew this globetrotter back to be with his family more in Hilversum.


The industrial engineer then spent 11 years with the cheese makers from Leerdammer. His first success was the innovation that could cut slices of exactly 20 grams. "What makes this such a challenge is that cheese tends to have holes and even then, each slice must be exactly the right weight. If the holes in the cheese are bigger, then that slice of cheese has to be cut a fraction thicker." Joost came up with an X-ray which takes an accurate three-dimensional 'photo' before each slice of cheese is cut. High-speed calculations - based on specific weight and density - guide the cutting machine as to how thick each cheese slice needs to be.

Together with the machine builder, he further developed the product process and turned it into a success. His career path led him to the position of Operational Director at Royal Bel Leerdammer BV.


Joost speaks with enthusiasm, and has the patience and passion to be able to explain difficult material in an accessible way. The business expert also knows from experience how to implement technical change processes. He enjoys talking about his experiences of how you can get people on board in new processes. "By involving them at an early stage, listening to what they know and making them 'owners' of a part of the factory. The entire factory was divided into units among the employees. They were directly involved in matters such as investments, maintenance schedules and duty rosters. That's such a tremendous help in change processes."


Clients from the food sector are increasingly turning to Boer & Croon in Amsterdam with specific requests for help. And it is precisely this sector where Van der Hoogte's expertise lies. "I would really like to contribute to the ambitions that the organisation has in the food sector and especially in the production segment. This is where my passion really lies and I also have a lot to contribute with my knowledge, experience and network."

"What I have noticed is that the people factor is very much present at Boer & Croon. I have the idea that turnover and earning money are a logical consequence of their first priority; to draw in and bind good people to them. Moreover, I believe in the combination that Boer & Croon has to offer in terms of proven leadership and young talent. I would therefore love to team up with Managers and Young Executives to work in tandem on my assignments."