The story of Alev

‘We’re all crew on the same ship’

turkey cuma altun

People-oriented. A strong focus on values. Caring about employee happiness. These are just some of the terms that spring to mind for Alev Demokan Yapıcı, HR Advisor at Rijk Zwaan Turkey, when she is asked to describe what typifies Rijk Zwaan as an employer.

Strategic partner

“At Rijk Zwaan, we put people first. In effect, our colleagues shape the directors’ choices. The company cares about the happiness of its employees and takes their opinions into account. This is illustrated by the fact that the board of directors involves HR as a strategic partner having a say in important decisions.”

Sharing responsibilities

As HR Advisor, one aspect of Alev’s work is recruitment. “We organise career days and offer internships. We want to actively inform students about what Rijk Zwaan does. Internships usually last a month in Turkey, but we like to allow students to stay with us for longer. They are immediately given responsibilities. It’s not necessary to have experience; we’re more interested in a person’s motivation and their moral standards and values.”

Employee development

“We try to involve our employees as much as possible in their own personal and professional development. We regularly hold development meetings, but these are aimed at helping our colleagues to work on their own development rather than evaluating their performance. Everyone at Rijk Zwaan Turkey recently attended a one-day training session on communication basics. It was very inspiring; I was really surprised. For some colleagues it was their first-ever training course.”

Permanent contract

“Our recruitment process entails several interviews and an assessment, and employees who complete the process successfully immediately receive a permanent contract so they feel a shared responsibility for the company as a whole, almost as if they are shareholders. That long-term view is typical of Rijk Zwaan. We’re all crew on the same ship and the responsibility for the success of our company rests on everyone’s shoulders.”

Rijk Zwaan shares Alev’s view that it is important for our employees to have an enjoyable and long-term job, with attractive pay and conditions. That is our number-one business objective.

CSR at Rijk Zwaan

Sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a natural part of Rijk Zwaan; you could say it is in our genes. We firmly believe that our specific knowledge and techniques relating to vegetable seeds enable us to contribute to a healthy future. By targeting our breeding activities to develop more robust and resilient varieties with better resistances, higher yields and a longer shelf life, we support the more sustainable and efficient production and processing of vegetables. To improve the accessibility and availability of fresh nutritious vegetables for people all over the world, we collaborate with countless partners in the food chain. In our everyday work, we contribute to a better world through the things we do and the way we treat people. This is how we give meaning to our mission of ‘Sharing a healthy future’. Read more about our CSR initiatives.