Dick Hylkema (61) has been Director of the Dutch Potato Organisation (NAO) since 2016. From its office in The Hague, the NAO represents the interests of nearly 200 trading companies in ware and seed potatoes. The Netherlands has a leading position in the world in the field of potatoes. The NAO communicates with governments about topics such as phytosanitary matters and market access, for example. Through the NAO, Dick is also a member of the Board of the Dutch Sector Organisation for Arable Farming (BO Akkerbouw) and the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW).
From its establishment in 2006 until 2015, Dick was Director of LTO Glaskracht, an agricultural and horticultural entrepreneur’s organisation. This independent sector organisation promoted the interests of Dutch greenhouse horticulture. At that time he was also Director of the Foundation for Innovation in Greenhouse Horticulture (SIGN) and a Board member at MPS, the certification organisation of the floriculture sector.
Before switching to greenhouse horticulture, he was Plant Sector Manager at LTO Nederland from 2002 to 2005. From 1997 to 2001, he was Director for Business Representation of the then Western Agricultural and Horticultural Organisation (WLTO).
Dick worked from 1990 to 1996 at the then Central Bureau of Horticultural Auctions (CBT), where he was Marketing Director for his last 4 years. This bureau organised all product and marketing related matters on a national level for what was then approximately 25 auctions.
Dick Hylkema started his career in the agricultural sector at Campina where, from 1986 to 1990, he was responsible as commercial manager for the sales of butter and butteroil in various markets.
Dick Hylkema's agricultural career was based on the one hand on the parents’ line in flower bulb export and seed breeding and, on the other hand, on his economics/marketing studies in Wageningen University. In 2001, he completed his studies with a 2-year MBA degree at the Rotterdam School of Management, the business school of Erasmus University.