A sustainable pension gives you a taste for more, just like sustainable fish.
Wim van As is the Managing Director of Versvishandel Jan van As, a family business that has been supplying the best fish and seafood to the catering, wholesale and retail sectors for over 60 years. Sustainability is what matters most to Jan van As's fresh fish business. Both in terms of the products they deliver and in choosing a pension insurer.
The Zwitserleven experience of Wim van As
“I used to work in my father's company every school holiday. That's how my love for the fish trade was born. It is a process that keeps you going. You keep looking for new regions, other species of fish. The trick is to shorten the time between catching and preparation as much as possible. We mostly supply restaurants. They really appreciate good, fresh fish.”
“Jan van As is a genuine family business. My father was one of the co-founders in 1949. When my two older brothers and I entered the business in 1974, he turned it into a proper undertaking. My brothers have since stopped working, but my nephews and my son now also work in the company. And the fourth generation is ready to start.”
“In 1982 we moved from the centre of Amsterdam to the Food Center in Amsterdam-West. From then on we grew really fast. We took a big step last year, when we entered into a partnership with Hanos, the food wholesaler for the hotel and catering industry. We have since doubled in volume.”
“Such an enormous growth obviously has certain consequences for your organisation. We now have about 130 employees and we work in 'sessions', a kind of shift work. The catering session works at night and at 9 am the Hanos session starts.”
“When I turned 50, I travelled around the Mediterranean for a few months. In the ports I visited, I saw with my own eyes how badly fishing was going. The supply dropped and the fish were smaller. My wife said at the time: you have to do something about that, otherwise in a few years' time you will only be selling farmed fish. This was the reason why we set up ‘Vis & Seizoen’."
“Vis & Seizoen is a foundation that focuses on the catering industry. We try to ensure that the fish served in restaurants is caught sustainably and in the right season. This will give fish stocks the chance to recover and we will still be able to enjoy fish in 30 or 40 years' time. The foundation is a great success. We already have 75 partners, including hotel chains such as the Hilton.”
“The transparency and clarity of Zwitserleven played a major role in this. With Zwitserleven we know exactly where we stand.”
“Not just the fish we sell is sustainable, our relationship with Zwitserleven is too. We have been customers for 38 years. Contact has been good all this time. But over the last two years it has become a bit more intense, because they have become a sponsor of Vis & Seizoen. This is how Zwitserleven shows their commitment towards sustainability.”
Transfer to Zwitserleven
“The pensions of our employees used to be arranged through Detam, the pension fund for retailers. When this fund was disbanded, we transferred everything to Zwitserleven. The transparency and clarity offered by Zwitserleven played a major role in this. With Zwitserleven we know exactly where we stand. We like being able to offer our employees security.”
“The fact that we appreciate the sustainable relationship with Zwitserleven does not mean that we are not critical. We conclude an agreement for five years at a time. Then we will investigate again which pension insurer has the best deal. Until now, Zwitserleven has always come out on top.”