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Dumitru Chihaia: Team Leader Harvest and Crop Treatment

My grandparents were farmers, like many other grandparents of my generation. When the communists took power in Romania, the villagers had no choice but to give their piece of land to the state, becoming state employees on their own land. However, not much changed in their lives; they continued to toil in the soil, farmers striving to meet unrealistic quotas for the well-being and progress of socialism with the technology available at that time.


I did everything with a lot of passion for agriculture and that's why I quickly decided to further develop this interest.

So, the children of these farmers, their sons, couldn't break free from this vicious circle, and they followed the same fate as their parents. My father spent a significant part of his life working on a fruit farm, the research center for fruit cultivation in Fălticeni. And that's where I was born, in one of the orchards of the research center, somewhere near a tractor. Of course, it sounds poetic, but it wasn't really like that. My father worked hard, and to be close to him, my mother sometimes went with him on the tractor to the tasks he performed.





The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and so I felt connected to everything related to agriculture from a young age: from my mother's houseplants to my grandmother's vegetable garden and the studies I pursued. I did everything with a lot of passion for agriculture, and that's why I quickly decided to further develop this interest.


Integration in Belgium, learning the language, distancing myself from family and friends... all these things were obstacles that I managed to overcome because I really wanted to stay here.

After obtaining my diploma, I decided to come to Belgium during the summer. The plan was to return afterward to pursue an additional master's degree. However, three months were enough to change my mind. After 13 years here in Belgium, I have not regretted that decision for a single day, even though it hasn't always been easy. But during these years, I somewhat put my passion for agriculture on hold because other matters took priority: integration in Belgium, learning the language, distancing myself from family and friends... all these things were obstacles that I managed to overcome because I really wanted to stay here.

This is a place where I can express my passion for plants and agriculture daily, working with the best professionals in the industry.

However, after this whole integration process, I realized that I can pursue my dreams again. After almost 9 years of working in an animal feed factory, I decided to make the move to Den Berk Délice. I had already heard about this company, but I found the job opening through a temp agency where I went to find a job closer to my passion. I didn't just want a job to survive financially; it had to be something I truly enjoyed doing. Although I learned a lot at Group Depre Veevoeding, where I gained valuable experience, the move to Den Berk Délice was logical. This is a place where I can express my passion for plants and agriculture daily and work with the best professionals in the industry.



Today, the challenges as Harvest and Crop Treatment Team Leader at the Truyenberg location are greater than ever, which is exactly what I wanted – a new challenge. After a period of learning at other locations, I can say that Truyenberg is one of the most challenging sites within the company. With a new but strong team working hard, we aim to achieve the same goal and overcome obstacles together. Nevertheless, the dedication of all professionals within the company is making this location increasingly well-known, developing its identity in the spirit I had already discovered at the training locations, namely Beirinckx in Herentals and Salmmeir in Rijkevorsel.


Knowing the teams at the training locations, I can only hope that we can form an equally strong and close-knit team at Truyenberg. We are working hard on communication and taking courses under the guidance of internal and external specialists. It's reassuring to know that Den Berk Délice also wants to invest in human capital, and that instills confidence.


However, I would sum it all up as 'pas cu pas' (step by step), an expression that seems to be rooted in the company.

The most enjoyable aspect so far for me is that at the end of a challenging day or week, we all come together to discuss how everything went, draw conclusions, provide advice and support to each other, and still manage to smile and enter the weekend with a positive feeling. This makes me aware that other colleagues are also content to be here and work in this company.

After this start at Den Berk Délice, I can say that in the future, I want to get even closer to everything related to tomato cultivation. This seems to be a much more structured sector than what I'm currently doing: harvesting and crop treatment. I think the most important aspect is that I see a lot of potential for myself in this company and that I am supported to grow in the direction I want. However, I would sum it all up as 'pas cu pas' (step by step), an expression that seems to be rooted in the company.



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