Bart Embrechts, Supply Chain Manager
When did your adventure start at Raffinerie Tirlemontoise?
On 1 January 1991, following my studies and military service, I immediately started working as an IT manager at the former Candico plant in Merksem. I very soon took on the responsibility for the logistics department as well. After some training, I was also given additional sales and marketing responsibilities.
In 2010, Candico was fully integrated into the Raffinerie Tirlemontoise group. It was clear that my experience and knowledge were worth their weight in sugar within the Merksem site! This led to an exciting job as Supply Chain Manager.
What does your working day look like?
Every day is different. Working together with colleagues, clients and suppliers, I regularly need to provide guidance, anticipate issues and spend considerable time looking for solutions. You constantly need to keep on top of which jobs are the most urgent.
The range of tasks is extensive. To name but a few: manage stock (finished products, raw materials, packaging), make inventories, adapt production planning, organise transportation, meetings with colleagues from other sites, suppliers & co-packers, etc. In short, my job is to run the logistics department as efficiently as possible, like a well-oiled machine.
How would you describe the atmosphere at Raffinerie Tirlemontoise?
These days, everything in society needs to be faster, better and cheaper. And yes, that sometimes creates stress and tension, but I still perceive the atmosphere within the Raffinerie Tirlemontoise to be informal. People are focussed on their jobs and work is taken seriously, but there are also some laughs and fun. You can feel the solidarity between the different sites, with employees who do their utmost to help each other.
Activities are even organised outside work with people from different sites. For instance, for several years a group of sporty colleague-friends have been going on a cycling weekend to the Mont Ventoux, in the Vosges...
What do you think of your job and life at Raffinerie Tirlemontoise?
Throughout my career, I have been proud to be able to contribute a few lumps to a sweet and tasty world! That's why, in my role as director of the Regional Products from Antwerp division, achieving recognition of our Cane sugars as a Traditional Regional Product was a wonderful moment and the icing on the cake for a long history of sugar production in Antwerp.
Since the merger with the Raffinerie Tirlemontoise, we in Merksem can also pack products from the famous "T" brand, which is an extremely well known brand in the world of sugar and beyond. It’s a source of pride.
Despite weaker economic times, we have a positive vision for the future. Over recent years, our unique Belgian sugar specialities have also become available in far away countries, which means that people all over the world can now enjoy our delicious sugar products.
Which is your favourite sugar of Tirlemont?
There’s no doubt about it: the Brown Candy sugar. It is just so delicious and an essential part of all kinds of desserts like pancakes, rice pudding, fromage frais, yoghurt, crème brûlée and more. Our Brown Candy sugar is also available in a handy resealable doypack, which keeps the sugar lovely and fresh and soft, another bonus!