13 Jun 2023

Wired the same way

The perfect match

Interview Hans Blonk and Jeroen Sleenhoff

The first date took place at a restaurant. Now the honeymoon is in full swing. New doors have opened since Mérieux NutriSciences proposed to Dutch company Blonk, and Blonk said a resounding yes. This acquisition promises a significant difference in food safety and sustainability. Jeroen Sleenhoff and Hans Blonk are happy to tell you more.

Written by Jeanette van Haasen

The managing director of Blonk, founded in 1999, was not at all thinking of an acquisition or sale of his company Blonk. Still, Mérieux NutriSciences’ acquisition proposal got him thinking. In the end, it took six months for Hans Blonk to make his decision. On 31 March, the acquisition was a fact.

Believing in sustainability

“Honestly? I didn’t know Mérieux NutriSciences or its Dutch sister company KTBA, a Mérieux NutriSciences company. We share the same clients but operate in a very different niche,” Hans says enthusiastically. “At Blonk, we are primarily concerned with the environmental footprints of products and companies in the foods realm. The synergy lies in the fact that we deliver full-service packages to clients and believe in sustainability in food. The instinctive deciding factor to say yes? I felt that what Blonk did was appreciated. People must appreciate you for what you do. Moreover, we are wired the same way professionally. We didn't need to invent a completely new language."

Full Solution Provider

What Blonk does will be further pursued, rolled out and scaled up globally. There were valid reasons for Mérieux NutriSciences to set its sights on Blonk. “We want to be a full solution provider,” says Jeroen Sleenhoff, Director Expert Services Europe. “In the Netherlands, Blonk’s Sustainability services fit well with our services in consultancy, auditing, training, labelling and digital tools of KTBA, and globally, in the Mérieux NutriScienes strategy.

In the search for suitable partners, we ended up with Blonk because they focus on the food and agri-food sector in sustainability and LCA (Life Cycle Assessment). This is very interesting to us. Hans also turns out to be a really nice guy. That also helps, of course.”

A fruitful future

Acting together for the sake of Mérieux NutriSciences’ credo, 'Better Food, Better Health, Better World’, both parties are set for a fruitful future. The acquisition of Blonk will help clients even better with food safety and sustainability matters. The overall service is extended and supported by science-based lab testing at the laboratory in Ede, food safety consultancy by KTBA and now also by one of Blonk’s specialisms: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Their trust in each other is high. Jeroen: “Hans Blonk pioneered a wonderful company, starting when sustainability was not yet an issue. I can learn a lot from him about entrepreneurship and sustainability.” Hans continues: “KTBA has furthered its development a lot more than Blonk and has now reached the right scale. While Blonk has fifty employees, KTBA has more than two hundred. Twenty people join Blonk every year. We can learn a lot from KTBA in terms of upscaling. I expect great moves towards further professionalisation within Blonk.”

A new level of service

The new partnership aims to grow and spread knowledge and expertise around food safety and sustainability. Hans sees much future potential in combining Mérieux NutriSciences’ laboratory measurements and Blonk’s environmental footprint calculations within supply chains of companies and business chains: "This is where I see new business emerge," he looks ahead, "a new level of quality service for our clients.” Jeroen concurs: “With the addition of Blonk, we are making the most of our synergy," he concludes. "We will turn the challenge into a success. Our Dutch and international clients will reap the benefits. That's what we do it for.”

More information

Get in touch

If you have questions about the acquisition of Blonk by Mérieux NutriSciences we are happy to hear from you.
Please get in touch with your Blonk contact for more information, or call +31 182 579 970 or send an email to info@blonksustainability.nl