A Peak Into The Family Business

Bart Rooijakkers  (The Netherlands)

“What else are you gonna do all summer?” Is what I heard every year before the vacation. From my family who was trying to persuade me to work for the company during the summer. Despite my protest, i was actually convinced every year.

From the day i turned 9, Working in the family company became a regular thing. My family has a bulb farm, They farm the bulbs other companies use to grow flowers to sell them. The whole family regularly worked here to help out, and earn money on the side. Although i was never really big on the work, It was always a good time working with my nephews and nieces. We used to have a lot of fun just messing around, This, however, resulted in less work being done.

 

Rooijakkers Breezand B.V was founded in the year 1906, The first bulbs were harvested by my great-grandfather Henk Sr. In his years of being in charge, he made a simple small-town bulb farm into a Multi-national Allround the year farm. Then after he passed away My Grandfather Jacob Rooyakkers Took the reigns, he had a big part to play in the expansion of the company. In 1991 he, Along with another dutch Farmer named: Jan Van Der Wereld, Became partners in the Sun Valley Group. A group of farmers/businessmen that work around all across the world.

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Jacob (Left) Jan (Middle) Leen (right)

 

 

 
Currently, Rooijakkers B.V has business with a lot of different partners all around the world. The biggest business is with The United States, However, there are farms/Partners in: Kenia, France, and Canada aswell. In The United States. Somewhere in the 90’s, the 3 partners decided it was time to expand their business into another branch: Real Estate. They bought all the ground in a small town. They rent these houses to people who live there. This makes for good business. however, the costs were high aswell, Because a lot of buildings needed repair/work done to them.

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When my Grandfather started getting of age, He asked his Sons/Nephews To help him run he company. Which they did, The “Board” now consisted of: 3 Brothers (My Uncles and Father), And 3 Nephews. They ran the company for several years until for personal reasons 2 of the nephews stepped out of the company. After this it was just: My Grandfather, the 3 brothers and 1 nephew. in 2010 My grandfather passed away, this led some tragic problems. 4 years after this the company was now run by: My father, my Uncle and the nephew. As it currently still is.

 

as of my own experience with the company, Although i did not like the work. I am glad i worked in the company for all those summers. As it has shaped my personality and thoughts in a big way. I stopped working for the company in the year 2017, because of school and different personal reasons. i will always remember the days in the glaring summer sun, and these are the memories that remind me of home. Although it’s good to be here i miss the sight of the fields full of flowers.

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A New Era in Global Marketing Communication

A New Era in Global Marketing Communication

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Writer: Shantel F. Mbulo

A question regarding globalization, which we an answer to is. How will the global market look in 10 years? Well that is a question I can answer in a heartbeat. With the growing demands and emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia, India and last but not least China, call for new marketing strategies. A marketing strategy that works in Denmark might not work in Zambia, caused by language barriers and cultural differences. In order for a Danish company to successfully penetrate the Zambian market, the company must seek above gaining economic surplus. The company might even need to adjust their product to the country in interest.

 

Communication Is Key Another important factor to be aware of, is the manner in which you communicate. Before penetrating a market, research is the core of succeeding. Behavioral patterns vary, consumers therefor demand to know why a company belongs in their country, and a company should be very keen on emphasizing this. Hence, hyper-transparency is king, if any failure on this field a company simply gets discredited and weakens its opportunity. As Eminem rapped it “You only got one shot do not miss the chance to blow”.

Digitalization of Globalization The past 5 years there has been huge growth in PR companies. This is caused by the growth in digital influencers such as bloggers, reviewers etc. This has called for more media awareness. The Internet never sleeps; you therefore need to be aware of the vast changing trends. However, not all get to be a part of the vast change. There are still 3rd world countries that are left out. Though they are following the smartphone trends, they still don’t have the network to use the internet as we do in the western world. Some third world countries still live by the pre-industrial model, it is therefore impossible to approach them as they were a third world country. So, what is the perfect recipe as to including these on the global scene? A lot of companies seem to fail on this task.

offshoringThe Effect of outsourcing At times companies decide to outsource in order to gain higher economic surplus in their company. Unfortunately this is done without reviewing the country’s infrastructure. With this being said, outsourcing is not only negative, it is positive as it creates jobs for people who otherwise would have been unemployed. However, as mentioned previously. If the only goal is to gain economic surplus, it will be an unstable business, if the cultural communication is poor so will communication be in general. For a business to thrive better on foreign grounds you must make an effort to communicate, be transparent, an reliable to ensure a healthy relation within the company as well as having a good reputation amongst 3rd word countries.

The Richest Person in Saudi Arabia

By Abdulmajeed Alfrayan, Saudi Arabia

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Sulaiman AL-Rajhi is the richest person in Saudi Arabia.   When he was 16 he started selling the water in the street. He was working at the same time in a restaurant to earn the money for his family. When he earned some extra money he went to trade  in fruits and other things until he reached what he is now, the richest man in Saudi Arabia.

 

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Sulaiman AL-Rajhi has the largest bank in the Middle East. He has more than 50 thousand employees.

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Sulaiman Al-Rajhi was born in Al Bukairiyah, located in Al Qassim province in Saudi Arabia, and grew up in the Nejd desert with his brother, Saleh. Sulaiman Abdulaziz Al Rajhi holds the largest individual stake in his family’s Al Rajhi Bank.

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Sulaiman AL-Rajhi invested more than his half money to benefit kids and the poor people.

NUCLEAR ENERGY: DECIDE WHICH SIDE YOU’RE ON

By Arthur Gris, France

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Nuclear power will help provide the electricity that our growing economy needs without increasing emissions. This is truly an environmentally responsible source of energy.” assured American politician Michael Burgess, while former Finnish President Tarja Halonen warned “Nuclear power is not a miracle key for the future.”. People have been arguing about nuclear power since its creation in the 1940s, until today in 2017. And we’re pretty sure that it will last forever whatever happens. If it stays like this, the debate will remain the same as the pro-nuclear and anti-nuclear will keep on arguing, and if nuclear power is banned, it’s very likely to see the pro-nuclear continue to argue to get it back.

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The aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, 1945.

After its well-known and controversial use in the 1940s with the 2 atomic bombs in Japan which made approximately 250,000 victims, the nuclear power were used in the next decade to offer a brighter and peaceful future designed for the development of new technologies. In the 50s, people saw in the atomic power the actual key to the future. However, we soon learned the limit of that extraordinary power as it was expansive and complicated to maintain. That is when it became really disputed with on one hand industries that preferred to keep going with the traditional sources of power (such as gas, coal and oil) that were in their opinion more reliable and cheaper, and on the other hand those who wanted this power because of its plentiful of positive aspects.

The nuclear power reached its highest peak during the oil wars that started in the 70s and which caused oil prices to shoot up, leading to more and more investments in the atomic power: more than half of all the nuclear reactors were built between 1970 and 1985. Since then, what made this power controversial were mainly the catastrophes such as the Chernobyl one in 1986 and the Fukushima disaster in 2011 which both caused casualties when and after the accidents happened due to the mortal and extremely expandable radioactivity.

Nowadays, the nuclear plants are getting old though new ones are planned for the next years in some countries, mainly developing. The situation faced today by those “nuclear countries” is whether spend money to make their nuclear plants brand new with the latest technologies, or move towards other kind of power.

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The “cons” of this power are well known and are the reasons why it’s so controversial and why people are protesting. One of them is the fact that developing nuclear power can lead to proliferation of nuclear weapons. These kinds of weapons, owned by both enemy nations are often said to be the cause of a 3rd world war. But a war with nuclear weapons on both sides would be an unseen massacre in the history of humanity and for the earth too. A less scary yet worrying situation is the pollution due to the nuclear rejections and wastes coming from the nuclear plants. We still don’t know what to do with it, and bury them in the soil of the earth is not a good and durable solution even though it is very little compared to greenhouse gasses and rejections and waste from the regular sources of energy. Lastly, the major accidents we seen had a radioactive spreading that was very serious and certainly the cause of cancer for the individuals located in many kilometers square around the area. In the most famous case of Chernobyl, the catastrophe will cause about 270 000 cancers (93 000 fatal) within 70 years, according to Greenpeace.

The “pros” however, are often ignored by most of people. They can be divided into two main points. At first, NASA scientists demonstrated that it is cleaner than the gases that fossil fuels produce. Which means that, in a way, there are a lot more deaths due to the fossil energy exploitation, but when people died because of the nuclear energies its mainly due to the catastrophes mentioned earlier in the article which always have a great impact in people’s minds. Actually, the NASA scientist said that in 2009, 1.8 million deaths have been prevented thanks to the nuclear energy replacing other kind of energy.

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Fuel needed to power a lightbulb, nuclear is clearly the less consuming energy.

Second, the new technologies which will be used to rebuild the old nuclear plants will reduce a lot the risks of such disasters. If countries invest in those specific fields of technologies, they might be able to control the risks and use nuclear power instead of poisonous fossil energies. Yes, the aftermaths of the nuclear catastrophes are terrible and are what is frightening and repulsive to people regarding nuclear energy, but since there has been already not a lot of such catastrophes in the past 50 years with the old technologies, the newest being more secure might stop or prevent any catastrophes. It definitely looks like the best solution to produce energy, only before we can fully produce only with renewable energies (in 40 years in the best scenarios, according to experts).

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So…                                 Is it good?                                                                       Is it bad?

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership by Mattis Bieg, Germany

Currently in negotiations the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a trade agreement with the aim to strengthen and boost the US economy and the member nations of the European Union. The supporters of the partnership are claiming that the trade agreement will result in the creation of millions of jobs for American and European citizens; furthermore, they assert it could have a positive impact on the economy of the EU and the USA. According to the European Commission, the partnership could boost the economy by at least 90 billion dollars just for the USA. However critics believe that big corporations will exclusively profit from the partnership and the positive effects on families and private households won’t compensate the disadvantages in sectors such as environmental protection, consumer protection and food safety acts. In addition, the negotiations between the USA and the EU are criticized for being undemocratic and for haggling behind closed doors without including the public in the decision making process.

The TTIP should be publicly discussed if it is morally defendable to support a trade agreement which could result in the expansion of an already immense wealth gap. According to the book Capital by Thomas Piketty the imbalance will result in a decreasing economic potential for both parties. Furthermore, TTIP strengthens social injustice and the exploitation of minorities and workers in the low-paid sector and the creation of a justice system independent from domestic laws for big companies who will then be able to sue countries via international arbitrations for a potential loss of profit due to domestic consumer protection laws or environmental protection laws.

To ensure that the interests of the US and EU economies as well as big corporations are represented in the negotiations, the leading US negotiators are mostly former lobbyists. For example, Michael Froman, trade representative for the USA and chief negotiator of TTIP, was paid four million dollars by his former employer to take on this task. Other examples are Islam Siddiqui who is a former lobbyist of Crop Life which is representing establishments like Bayer, BASF and Monsanto, or Robert Holleyman who has been an Apple and Microsoft lobbyist for over 20 years. But the EU is no better. Even though there are over 15,000 lobbyists working in Brussels, the negotiators of the EU still thought it would be necessary to have over 520 meetings with neoliberal-related lobbyists.

Perhaps the influence of the lobbyists isn’t a problem at all, because there is at least the potential that those companies involved won’t act selfishly or only focus on their own interests. Lobbyists for example possess an advanced knowledge about finances and management; these skills have been used by the Swiss government to budget the building of the world’s longest tunnel and to stick to the time schedule, which was a complete success. Additionally not all lobbyists are related to finance and business, some of them work for social organizations like the Human Rights Watch, the Freedom House or even the ICRC.

So what could be the other consequences of TTIP? Positive effects of TTIP would be the creation of a strong trade union, which could protect the members of this union from a potential global economic crisis. Other benefits are surely the reduction of beurocratism and the unnecessary costs of domestic customs for export and import. Furthermore, trade with foreign countries who ratified TTIP will be far easier than current conditions. In addition, TTIP will lead to the cultural exchange of goods.

The trading partnership will definitely have an impact on consumer protection, environment protection and worker’s rights. In those cases, the effects will be especially negative for the EU, due to the fact that they have stricter and more diverse laws and restrictions. One just needs to take a look at the list of prohibited chemical and biological substances; of the 1,300 forbidden substances in the EU, only 11 are forbidden in the USA. For example, asbestos (used in the shipbuilding and construction industry), which was clearly and without any doubt declared as a threat to health and a carcinogen, is still commonly used in plenty of goods in the USA. Furthermore, the USA has only ratified two out of eight ILO-norms (International Labor Organization) which would be forced labor and child labor in its worst forms. Obviously this doesn’t mean that the USA is one of the worst countries regarding workers rights, because countries like Syria have ratified all ILO-norms and Iran five of eight, and surely the people there don’t have more workers rights than the people in the USA. However, this kind of behavior illustrates a certain attitude towards the lack of protection of workers in the USA. For example 25 states in the USA have special Right-to-work-laws which restrict the funding of labor unions and worker councils. An example of this would be the Mercedes-Benz factory in Alabama which is the only factory of Mercedes worldwide without a committeeman.  In addition, there are countless further cases of egoistic and immoral behavior by international businesses. A great example would be the Canadian establishment, Gabriel Resources, which focuses on the mining of gold in Romania. Romania and Canada signed a trading partnership to protect the interests of companies and investors. However Gabriel Resources is currently suing the state of Romania for prohibiting the project due to the planned use of cyanide during mining, which is against the environmental laws of the EU, to which Romania is applying for a membership. Cyanide is also called a ticking bomb due to the fact that it is highly toxic and even deadly. Further examples for this controversy would be the lawsuit against Estonia for regulating its financial institutions or Uruguay for labeling cigarettes with health warnings. In general this wouldn’t be a problem if the case was held in front of a domestic judge, but those cases are fought in front of international arbitrators, whose lawyers and judges are often selected by the businesses themselves. In addition there is no inclusion of third-parties or witnesses if one of the partners doesn’t agree.

Considering all this information, the negotiation procedure has to be changed in order to include the public and to prevent secret unwritten agreements with the aim to loosen regulations in favor of big companies. Furthermore, the discussion about hard-won workers’ rights, as well as the preparation to introduce a parallel justice system for globalized companies, has to be put to an end to fulfill the aim of serving the citizens and providing them benefits through the TTIP deal. If they conform to the requirements, TTIP is more likely to make a positive change in our daily lives, improve the economy and to strengthen the USA and the EU, if they don’t protect the workers and citizens it will have disastrous impacts on our societies.

Cartoons:

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Recommendations:

  • Thank You for Smoking (2005, USA)
  • Why the Deadly Asbestos Industry Is Still Alive and Well (Vice Reports)
  • TTIP-leaks (Greenpeace, Netherlands)
  • TTIP (Vice Reports)