A valuable visit to China

Last month, some of our colleagues travelled to China. They crossed the country and visited suppliers in various cities. The aim was mainly to keep in touch about the products they supply and developments within the market. Plans for the future were made together, the subjects of the environment and sustainability were put on the agenda once again and audits were carried out at factories. In short: a lot of work was done during these valuable visits!

Suryn de Jager, our Regulatory Affairs Manager, explains that an important part of her visits to China is all about the relationship. AAKO wants to stay in good contact with its Chinese partners. “I travelled with my colleague Peter Klaver, Department Director Functional Chemicals, to visit several suppliers we have known for years. We talked frankly about our joint business, in which area we see growth opportunities, what product developments are ongoing, what market developments are taking place and what the ever-changing needs of our customers are. But we also put environment and sustainability back on our suppliers’ agenda. Within AAKO, CSRD, Corporate Social Reporting Directive, is a hot topic. It is now also prominent on the agenda of our suppliers. We therefore prefer to work with suppliers who act with the same conviction. After all, only then can we fulfil our corporate promise “Chemical Excellence” where we know exactly how to get our suppliers’ products to our customers in the right way, in the right place, under the right conditions, according to the right guidelines, according to the right restrictions and via the right, logical steps.”

Buying and selling according to Code of Conduct
Whereas Peter instead emphasised commerce during the visits, Suryn conducted the audit at the factories. “If the factory is tidy, meets our requirements in areas such as hygiene and working conditions, and it also meets the requirements of our “Code of Conduct” (CoC), we are more likely to do business with potential suppliers than if they do not meet this CoC. Fortunately, we never encounter untended factories during such a visit, as our Chinese partners already pre-select and repeat the visits regularly to ensure continuous quality.”