''When all animals arrive at the final destination in good health and the customer is satisfied, then I am very proud and happy.''
For over eleven years, Ilona has been a well-known face within the VAEX family. After starting out in pig and piglet sales, she soon ended up at the cow department. Full of passion and with great expertise, she has shipped out numerous cows over the past years. She came to the Netherlands from Russia, by way of France, where she met her husband. After graduating, she basically ended up at VAEX by coincidence. At the time, VAEX was looking for someone to sell its trucks and cattle in Russian-speaking countries. Selling trucks appealed to Ilona, because her father had been a lorry driver, but the Russian national did not really pay much attention to the word cattle in the job description It came as a bit of a surprise on her first day at work. But seeing as Ilona is extremely eager to learn, she learnt everything there is to know about the trucks and the animals in no time, and rapidly became one of our top salespersons.
What do you think the cow market will be like in 5 years’ time?
“Personally, I think demand for cows will remain fairly stable over the coming years. When it comes to supply and logistics, there will be barely any changes. This year, we have seen that the Netherlands is unable to offer large numbers of cows for export, and that is not likely to change much either, given the new regulations and stricter requirements for cattle farmers. Germany continues to be a large exporter, but they will also face more and more restrictions on long-distance transport. It has recently become increasingly difficult to certify and ship cows, and certainly also animals in general, to Russia, Kazakhstan, or Georgia. Besides the Netherlands and Germany, many other Western European nations are also following these regulations. Going forward, there could be good prospects in Eastern Europe, but perhaps we may be able to start selling animals from the US again...”
What was a particular moment of happiness for you during your time at VAEX so far?
“Apart from the fact that I always have a moment of happiness when “my” animals arrive at their destination safe and sound, I was very proud when we had organised our first flight to transport cows from Canada to Russia; or when our first ship of cows arrived in Russia, all the way from the US. Seeing such a large-scale project, such a long journey, work out perfectly and all the animals delivered to a satisfied customer, just made me feel proud and extremely happy. We now regularly arrange long-distance transport by sea, air, or road, and I’m still excited every time the animals arrive safely."