Organisation - February 13, 2014

Dear Louise,

The prodigal daughter is safely back in her mother’s arms. You’ve returned to paradise.

I had a Protestant upbringing. When I hear the word ‘paradise’ I think of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. And that you must not eat the apple hanging from it. If you do, you will know and experience the difference between good and evil.

In an interview in Resource 11 you say: ‘I don’t want to be the kind of leader who only works on processes; I want to achieve substantial results.’ I am happy about that! You also say: ‘I feel Wageningen should provide clarity about the intensification of agriculture.’ In your book Hamburgers in Paradise you write that organic wheat requires six times more land than regular wheat does. In your TV series ‘Fresco’s Paradise’, you say that pigs in Italy are allowed out of doors, but those in the Netherlands are not. You know exactly what is good and what is evil, in quite some detail in fact.

So in a paradise somewhere along the line you must have eaten an apple. Was that in Rome, or at the University of Amsterdam, or at the Rabobank? Or were there some apples lying around at Unilever? Well, I just hope you don’t eat any more apples now. A real executive director does not eat apples, but rises above all the scientific fuss about eating apples and the squabbles it leads to. I hope that, just as Willem-Alexander is king of and for all the Dutch, you will be a director of and for all the different kinds of people in our WUR. You are all for patching up all the differences. For letting everyone in Wageningen flourish and blossom in their own subject areas. Without being judged, without fear, without good and evil – but with plenty of nice biodiversity! Will you put that apple back in the tree before you come to the Droevendaalsesteeg?