BELGIUM, Brussels. Filip Fontaine will be the new Managing Director of Flanders' agricultural marketing office VLAM from 1 July.
He succeeds Frans De Wachter, who is retiring after a long VLAM career.
Filip Fontaine studied agricultural engineering at the Catholic University KU Leuven and held various positions in the Belgian agricultural and horticultural sector. He began his career as a project manager and environmental consultant with the Belgian Farmers' Union "Boerenbond".
Fontaine then worked for a short period at CERA-Bank, where he became managing director of various fruit and vegetable auctions in 1998. There he successfully completed a number of mergers and was involved in the formation of BelOrta. Most recently, he was interim CEO at EIT Food and the integrative company Lidwina in Kempenland, Belgium.
"The Flemish agricultural, horticultural and fishery products are characterised by quality, sustainability, transparency and efficient production." says Fontaine and continues: "This reputation must be transported throughout Europe and worldwide. Against this background, VLAM will have to face three major international challenges in the coming years: Firstly, the existing core markets must be consolidated and new markets opened up for our Flemish exports. Secondly, we must use the limited resources intelligently and as a springboard for European subsidy programmes. Thirdly, we will increase the impact of our marketing programmes if we are strong internationally. That is why I look forward to working with the VLAM team to give our products the place they deserve around the world."