The Board of the Foundation is tasked with the integral monitoring of the Better Life Label foundation Progress is monitored in the form of quarterly reports/meetings. The Board of the Better Life Label Foundation consists of the following six board members:
Chair: Helga van Veen
During her Veterinary Medicine studies (combined programme) Helga focused on the welfare of farm animals. She has held various policy and management functions at the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals, including that of assistant director of Animal Protection. In the context of these roles, she maintained contacts with the agricultural sector. Helga has been involved in the development of the Better Life label from the very beginning. She holds various other administrative and advisory roles.
Treasurer: Rick Elmendorp
Rick is a financial manager with a broad commercial perspective and a heart for animal welfare. After working for 10 years in a variety of roles in the business world, he substituted the commercial sector for the non-profit sector. He is now finance manager at the Netherlands Water Partnership, a network of Dutch water organisations, working worldwide on co-creating future-proof solutions. In this role, he is responsible for all aspects of internal business operations. Rick succeeds Koos Boering, whose current term of office is about to expire, as treasurer and is the new financial heart and conscience of the BBLF.
Secretary: Monique A. van der Gaag
As a researcher into animal welfare and sustainable production chains at Wageningen UR, she has gained experience in all aspects of animal husbandry over the past 10 years. Monique worked for eight years at Stichting Milieukeur, where she was engaged in developing certification schemes for animal production chains for many different animal sectors. These schemes include the Dutch ecolabel Milieukeur and Maatlat Duurzame Veehouderij. During this time, she has also gained experience with accreditation. She currently works as an assessor on a freelance basis at the Dutch Accreditation Council. She has worked at the Council on Animal Affairs as assistant-secretary since 2016.
Board member: Marlies Engelaar
After studying law at the Radboud University in Nijmegen she wrote a thesis on corporate governance at cooperatives. She was then employed in various roles at Rabobank Nederland: legal adviser in the field of corporate governance, head of Governance and Compliance the Netherlands, and as an interim manager. At the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM), she has contributed to increasing the fairness and transparency of the financial markets, first as head of the Legal Affairs Department and then as head of Market Integrity and Enforcement. In the latter role, she was closely involved in enforcement in connection with serious fraud such as deception of investors and misleading consumers.
Marlies is committed to organisations with a strong sense of social responsibility. She is passionate about sustainability, the environment and animal welfare. Marlies firmly believes that we, as people, should feel and accept our responsibility to ensure the earth remains habitable for future generations of humans and animals. This also implies that we must ensure that animals can live a better life.
Board member: Niel Pepers
After graduating in Industrial Design from Delft University of Technology, Niel started working for a brand and packaging design agency serving manufacturers and retailers in sectors including the food sector. Brands and packaging are developed to exert a positive influence on consumer behaviour and create preference. Niel was employed there for 15 years, of which seven years as director and co-owner. He has now been active as a consultant in brand, strategy, innovation and employee engagement for over 12 years. Niel brings added value to the board with his creativity and enterprising background. Niel recently completed a study programme in ‘Governance New Style’ as preparation for supervisory roles in socially relevant organisations. At the Better Life Label Foundation, Niel can combine his commitment to animal welfare with his strategic, commercial experience in building brands in food and retail.
Board member: Tim Kraaier
Tim has acquired experience in administrative roles in various industries, cultures and countries. He was also a board member of various pension funds and lived and worked in the UK for some years. Tim graduated in Business Economics. He was employed by organisations including EY, Sonepar, Ahold, G4S and Albron.
His current role is CFO at Intratuin. His work in the food service and food retail sectors has made him become increasing aware of the importance of animal welfare in the food supply chain. He is very happy to contribute to animal welfare in his new role at the Better Life Label Foundation.