Dick Boer will accept the fourth annual Holland on the Hill Heineken Award on May 18, 2017, on behalf of Ahold Delhaize for the organization’s work to further the US-Dutch economic relationship, as well as its commitment to sustainable retailing, reducing food waste, and promoting healthy living and an inclusive workspace.
Mr. Boer is also being recognized for his company’s commitment to strengthening local communities by organizing food drives and donating to food banks. In 2016 alone, the US brands donated nearly 51,000 tons of food through hunger relief initiatives to US food banks.
“As large employers and food suppliers, we have a responsibility to make a difference in the communities where we operate. The work of our brands in local communities is a natural and essential part of who we are and how we can make a difference,” said Mr. Boer.
The Heineken Award honors entrepreneurs who have made a substantial and positive contribution to the US-Dutch economic relationship through their entrepreneurial drive, a drive that is part of the Dutch DNA. That is why members of the Holland on the Hill Heineken Award and Lecture Committee unanimously chose Dick Boer as the 2017 Heineken Award recipient and speaker.
Mr. Boer will give a lecture after the award ceremony, which will take place in the Members Room of the Library of Congress on Thursday, May 18, 2017, at 11:30 a.m. There will be an accompanying discussion moderated by longtime Washington, D.C. broadcast journalist Bruce DePuyt of NewsChannel 8.
“Mr. Boer is the ideal person to receive this year’s award,” said Henne Schuwer, the Netherlands Ambassador to the United States. “He leads a company that is dedicated to sustainable business practices while improving the health and lives of its customers and the communities it serves.”
Dedicated to sustainable retailing, healthy living
With brands including Giant, Stop and Shop, Hannaford and Food Lion, Ahold Delhaize is the largest supermarket retailer on the East Coast, and employs more than 210,000 people in the United States. It also owns Peapod, the biggest online food delivery retailer in America.
Dick Boer started his career in his father’s grocery store in Zeeland, the Netherlands’ westernmost province. After graduation, Boer worked at Unigro and SHV Holding before joining Ahold in 1998. Mr. Boer later became CEO of Ahold, and led the merger of Ahold and Delhaize Group last summer.
Mr. Boer’s and Ahold Delhaize’s focus on sustainable retailing, reducing food waste, and promoting healthy living match well with the Netherlands’ ongoing efforts to make food healthier. The Netherlands produces high quality, sustainable food through innovative agricultural and horticultural solutions that contribute to a healthier diet and a more secure food chain.
For example, the Netherlands has developed innovations that make food easy to cook while lowering the amount of sugar, sodium and fat, helping to combat diabetes and obesity. The Dutch also know how to give food superior texture and flavor so nutritional foods are more attractive to eat.
The Dutch food industry has also created smart conservation and packaging techniques to keep food fresh, and implemented scanning methods that quickly detect toxins and bacteria to keep food safe. In addition, the Netherlands is committed to significantly lowering the amount of antibiotics in food to battle resistance against antibiotics in both animals and humans.
The Heineken Award
The Heineken Award is named after the late Freddy Heineken, who was sent to the United States in the 1940s and established the Heineken brand overseas. Upon his return to the Netherlands, he used the innovative marketing skills he learned in the United States to transform Heineken into one of the world’s most recognized brands today. Using innovative American marketing techniques and his Dutch entrepreneurial spirit, Heineken increased sales by 260 percent, and helped lay the foundation for the worldwide brand.
To highlight these shared values, the Holland on the Hill program was launched in 2014 as a joint effort of the US Congressional Caucus on the Netherlands, the Royal Netherlands Embassy, corporate partners, and the Netherland-America Foundation.
Previous award winners include: Dr. Werner Vogels, vice president and chief technology officer at Amazon.com (2014); Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, received the inaugural award (2015); and Victoria B. Mars, chairman of the board of Mars Inc (2016).
Follow the event on Twitter: #HollandHill.