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Meat the team: Wilco Spek

2 november 2023

To start, could you tell us a bit more about yourself and your role within Iberdeli?

I'm Wilco Spek and I'm responsible for the quality department at Iberdeli.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

My workdays are never the same. Since we moved to Ridderkerk in 2020, we have nearly everything under our own control. The process has changed significantly, and we have complete control from A to Z. This leads to daily challenges and the need for some improvisation. Working with natural products introduces variables, which, in my opinion, is the beauty of the job. Doing the same thing every day isn't for me. Solving challenges together and constantly striving to improve our processes are the moments that make my heart beat faster!

Where does your passion for meat come from?

It starts at the foundation! During my time at the Amstel-Hotel (formerly known as Restaurant La Rive), I learned from Robert Kranenborg what quality does to the final product. In the years that followed, I further expanded this knowledge in other restaurants where I worked and even served as a chef.

In my current role at Iberdeli, this is, of course, the starting point for the products we source. If the foundation (read: quality) of the meat is not good, you will see it in the final product when it's served.

Iberdeli is known as a supplier of quality meat. How do you ensure this quality?

There are several means to ensure quality. These include the implemented IFS manual, microbiology, the brand-new facility, refrigeration systems, transportation, and the list goes on. However, sensory testing remains one of the most important factors for me. Over the years, we have had the privilege of tasting and evaluating a lot of meat, and we use this experience daily to assess whether the meat meets our quality standards.

Iberdeli obtained its IFS certifications some time ago. Can you tell us more about this?

In our industry, the aspect of "quality" and its measurability are becoming increasingly important. Our customers were increasingly asking us if we had this certification or had the intention to obtain it. Iberdeli was already performing well, but the IFS certificates allow us to prove and demonstrate this. 

We made every effort to obtain the certificates, and we succeeded in March of this year. We obtained both IFS Logistics and IFS Broker certifications. These are GFSI-recognized certifications, meaning Iberdeli meets the highest standards. However, our journey doesn't stop here; we will need to continuously improve to maintain this standard.

Lastly, with which colleague would you like to swap roles for a week, and why?

Everyone at Iberdeli plays a valuable role in their own way and in a different field. Sometimes there are overlaps, sometimes not. I certainly have thoughts about other roles within the company, but I don't feel the need to swap roles for a week.