Sybren Attema will be the new CEO of ICCO Cooperation starting as of July 1st 2019. He will take over from Marinus Verweij, who announced his departure in January. Sybren has extensive experience in development cooperation within the private sector, which is of great value for the future of ICCO Cooperation.
In the past years Sybren Attema has held the position of Global Manager of FrieslandCampina’s Dairy Development Programme, based in Vietnam and later in the Netherlands. In this role Sybren was responsible for the management of large public-private partnerships focused on the development of local (dairy) farmers through trainings and knowledge sharing as well as the establishment of local distribution systems, establishing policies and practices that boost local production in terms of quality and volume and increase smallholder farmers’ income in Asia and Africa.
Johan de Leeuw, chairman of the Supervisory Board of ICCO: “Sybren’s experience fits perfectly with ICCO’s approach to cooperate more and more in public private partnerships, since we believe that more impact can be achieved by working together. With Sybren we have found the right candidate to bring this approach a step further”.
In its new strategy ICCO has made the choice to focus on the agrifood sector: food security and the promotion of market-driven productivity in value chains. Sybren’s experience greatly aligns with that. Sybren: “I am very grateful for this opportunity to make the step towards a non-profit organization which focuses on the agrifood sector. I truly embrace ICCO’s vision that strong and sustainable agricultural systems enable farmers, agripreneurs, and small and medium-sized enterprises to become more resilient”.
From dairy farmer to manager
Sybren has a wealth of experience as a successful dairy farmer in the Netherlands, and has had a long career in the management of dairy cooperatives. He started his management career in 1993 on the Board of Coöperatieve Zuivelindustrie De Goede Verwachting B.A., of which he had been a member dairy farmer since 1983. In January 2000, Sybren was elected vice-chairman of the Board of Zuivelcoöperatie Friesland Foods U.A. and in December 2003, he was elected its chairman. In addition, he was also chairman of the Supervisory Board of Royal Friesland Foods N.V.. Sybren played a key role in the successful merger between Friesland Foods and Campina in 2008.
Sybren had his education at the professional university for agricultural education.
Replacing Marinus Verweij
Sybren Attema will replace Marinus Verweij, who has been at the helm of ICCO for more than eight years. Under the leadership of Marinus, ICCO has been transformed from a traditional development organization to a decentralized social enterprise with 5 regional and 20 country offices and the ICCO Group with non-profit subsidiary companies. Marinus: “I am very pleased that a smooth transition will be realized with the appointment of Sybren and wish him much success in further developing this dedicated organization, which strives for a just and dignified world”.
Sybren Attema will form the Executive Board of ICCO together with CFO Jolanda Wakkerman.