Gabrielle Kalkwijk appointed as new CEO of Ardo Mittwoch 28 August 2019

The Board of Directors of Ardo, the European leader in fresh frozen plant-based foods, announce that Mrs. Gabrielle Kalkwijk will take up the position of Group CEO from 1 October, succeeding Rik Jacob who retired earlier this summer.


Mrs. Kalkwijk, who is Dutch, graduated from the Agricultural University of Wageningen (NL), and has since made a successful career in the food industry.

Until 1 October of this year, Mrs. Kalkwijk is President of Global Manufacturing Operations for Dawn Foods, an American family business of bakery ingredients and frozen bakery products produced in 17 factories, seven of which are in Europe, serving a customer base of bakers, foodservice, retail and industry, that creates a revenue of 1.8 billion US dollars net sales. Mrs. Kalkwijk joined Dawn Foods in 2011 as VP Operations and Supply Chain for Europe and AMEAP (Africa, Middle East, Asia Pacific), where she was responsible for purchasing, production, supply chain, quality, regulatory and safety, and achieved strong results year after year.

Prior to 2011, she spent 20 years with FrieslandCampina. She worked in a variety of Plant Manager and Operations Manager roles, in different European countries. She lived and worked in the Netherlands (her home country), Poland, Russia and Germany before her promotion to Group Operations Director for Butter in 2008.

Philippe Haspeslagh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ardo expressed his satisfaction with her appointment: “After a careful selection process by the Board of Directors and the shareholders, we are pleased that Mrs. Kalkwijk is taking on the exciting challenge of leading Ardo. In addition to the wealth of international experience that Mrs. Kalkwijk has gained in the food industry, we were particularly impressed by her leadership qualities in both developing people and creating results.”

Mrs. Kalkwijk adds: “I could not ignore the challenge of becoming Ardo's CEO. The entrepreneurship of the Haspeslagh family is contagious. I love the products and the vision of the company, that clearly values quality and sustainability. There is a huge future for those who, like Ardo, are innovative in the plant-based food industry and efficient in creating products. To that end, I see the development of the organisation and its people, as my most important task."

Mrs. Kalkwijk will take up her duties on October 1st, and following a short introductory period will take charge of the management team and the company, reporting to the Board of Directors.

Bio Gabrielle Kalkwijk

Some keywords: International experience - Proven track record in FMCG - Entrepreneurial with strong focus towards customers and on safety and quality.

Studies: Mrs. Kalkwijk studied at the agricultural University in Wageningen. Her main study and thesis was in Animal Science, and minor theses in Business administration and Agricultural economics.

FrieslandCampina – 1991-2011: Mrs. Kalkwijk worked for more than 20 years for FrieslandCampina, one of the largest dairy cooperatives.

Dawn Foods – 2012-09.2019: Until October 1st, Mrs. Kalkwijk is President of Global Manufacturing Operations.

Personal: Living in the vicinity of ‘s-Hertogenbosch , Mrs. Kalkwijk is married with two children, and enjoys spending her free time with her family.

About Ardo
The family owned Ardo Group (headquartered in Ardooie, Belgium) is an important world player in the production of a full range of fresh frozen vegetables, herbs and fruit for retail, foodservice and industry. Today the Ardo Group has a global sales network and 21 production, distribution and packing units in 9 countries, ensuring optimal sourcing from the most productive growing regions. Together with the 4,000 employees, the Group markets 940,000 tons to over 100 countries, creating a €1,1bio turnover.

For more info, contact Heidi Goovaerts-Group Marketing & Communication Director:
Tel: +32.476.989871 - email:

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