Mr Robert van Otterdijk (57) is a food technologist, graduated in 1985 from the Wageningen Agricultural University in The Netherlands. He worked first in the dutch food industry in quality assurance and r&d, after which he joined the Food & Agriculture Organization of the UN in 1989, on projects on post-harvest technology and food technology in Ghana (West Africa) and Tonga (South Pacific).
In 1995 he joined a SIDA (Sweden) funded field project in Zambia on production, processing and commercialisation of root & tuber crops. When this project was concluded, he returned to the private sector – spices industry, procurement, processing and export of paprika – as a quality assurance manager in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia.
In 2002 he joined the FAO again, this time as the agro-industry officer of the Regional Office for Africa, based in Accra – Ghana. In 2008 he moved to FAO Headquarters in Rome – Italy, and since this year he is based in FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia in Budapest – Hungary. His main responsibilities are agro-industrial development and the ‘Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction’- Save Food.
Mr Van Otterdijk speaks Dutch, English, French, German and a little Italian.