Jasper van der Kloof - Trading manager
Jasper van der Kloof Trading Manager

“You can get a lot of responsibility quickly”

Having worked with Cefetra in The Netherlands for more than 20 years, Jasper van der Kloof knows the tricks of the trade. He shares his view on the business and what he thinks are a good trader’s key qualities. “You always keep your eyes open for new opportunities and markets.”

Flat structure

“During my studies in Tilburg, I once attended a lecture by Cees Veerman, who later became Minister of Agriculture. Since then, my interest in agriculture grew,” Jasper says. He went on to graduate in the food sector. “My first job was at Cebeco Group (Rotterdam), in the ‘strategy and innovation’ department. At that time, Cebeco was the part owner of Cefetra. The director of Cefetra approached us and asked us if we could write up a strategic plan, I got the opportunity to make a contribution. That was back in 2000, I still have it somewhere”.

“It was a learning process: I immersed myself in trading, commodities, international business. I soon became a trader. Cefetra has remained a compact organization ever since. With a very flat structure. You can talk to anyone, decisions are made quickly, and management is very involved in the operation. We all share a tendency to take action.”

“A great thing about working at Cefetra is that you can quickly make a lot of impact”

Jasper van der Kloof – Trading manager

Teamwork

Jasper’s specialty is soy. “When I started, I worked with three traders who were all older and more experienced than I was. When they left in quick succession, I suddenly became responsible for the product, together with Ted who is now General Manager. My learning curve went up steeply. Soy is such a large product, so I’m glad the team has gradually grown. You can’t do it on your own. We also work very closely with Cefetra Ltd. in the UK.”

Because trading is a dynamic business, you should be able to handle setbacks, Jasper emphasizes. “It’s important to able to put things into perspective. A quality you develop over the years. When we go through a rough patch, I try to keep my team out of the wind. As a manager, when things go well, you quickly become the champion. When things go wrong you must take responsibility as well. I want to create an environment where people can be creative and flourish.”

Global developments

“Major changes in the world affect your work as a trader,” Jasper says. “Geopolitical developments. Changes in monetary policy. The changing climate that is affecting production and prices. New legislation that requires our customers to adjust their purchasing policy. We always adapt, we always innovate. It’s not easy to differentiate yourself in a commodity environment. But we try to add value by being flexible, transparent, accessible, trustworthy. Also, we have embraced the theme of sustainability, in a very early stage.”

 

The main thing is to be proactive. “You get things moving by yourself. That is perhaps the essence of trading. You have your phone, your computer, your energy, and your time. You use them as best you can, keeping your eyes and ears open for new opportunities and markets. A great thing about working at Cefetra is that you can quickly make a lot of impact. Because we are a compact organization, you can get a lot of responsibility at a young age already. And the results of your actions are quickly visible.”

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