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Nov 3, 2022

ep. 111: Volkert Engelsman · Marketing Mastermind | Guru of Differentiation

Forces of Nature is a talkshow miniseries featuring dynamic leaders from across food & environmental movementsTune-in for a dose of optimism.



w/ host: Aaron Niederhelman

Volkert Engelsman is CEO of EOSTA, the EU’s largest importer of organic and biological fruit. Volkert is nothing short of a mastermind when it comes to marketing product differentiation, and amplifying how those differences benefit each stakeholder involved. In this conversation we hear what it has taken for Engelsman to become a leading force connecting the worlds of healthier food and thriving soils. 

“When you commoditize products, you anonymize origin and backstory,” explains Engelsman in describing why he launched food integrity platform Nature & More
The Sustainability Flower by Nature & More is used to evaluate, manage and communicate the net positive environmental impact and social welfare achievements of organic growers and supply. It’s a sticker that validates production and sourcing claims on each piece of fruit, and a robust platform behind it all that gives it the integrity to make the storytelling stick with consumers.

If you’re a grower, retailer or consumer like us all - listen-in to this episode to hear how we'll get to a point of food full of thought.  


In an effort to establish financial rewards for the positive externalities derived from regenerative land management, Volkert has initiated the Business Alliance for Regenerative Agriculture (BARA). The objective of BARA is to work with existing initiatives, and suss-out new reward structures that incentivize more stakeholders for ecosystem health and the social benefits tied to regenerative agriculture. 


Eighty (80) initiatives and companies from all over the world have come together to launch BARA. At October’s kick-off gathering held at EOSTA’s home office in Waddinxveen, Netherlands, cohosts Climate Farmers of Berlin and EOSTA defined seven working groups to build upon: Carbon Methodologies, Policy Engagement, Trading Positive Externalities, Sharing & Exchanging Experiences, Consumer Awareness & Retail Storytelling, Setting up Farms & Transforming Regions, and Organic Meets Regenerative. A next BARA conference is scheduled for 2023. It's been designated to review initial working group findings, and to continue to move the ball.

For decades, Volkert has used a unique marketing prowess to differentiate better quality foods grown in healthy soils as acts of climate & social action. The Nature-&-More platform and now BARA are intuitive POCs that are ripe to translate the positive impacts of food with the UN's 17 SDGs.  It is palatable action in every mouthful that benefits people and the planet. 


“Tomorrow’s profit will include externalities, and social and environmental costs – which is precisely what is happening right now in Europe. In fact, you see it everywhere this is gradually descending into the DNA of financial markets, taxonomies, and fiscal incentives. The definition of profit is changing.”  - Volkert Engelsman


Volkert Engelsman has a call to action for us all in food / planetary movements...    get out there and Dream, Dance and Deliver. According to Engelsman, we need more skilled and ambitions (big) dreamers on this stuff.  We learn that if you really want to make change happen – it’s on you – so, you'd better learn how to dance. Figure out how to make nice with others, how to choose partners, and how to keep dancing. This creates results. Often smaller wins, but more results. It’s consistency of those small wins that gets us to tackling those big dreams.