News - April 18, 2012

Friesland Campina rejects grubby road name

The campus road name De Goor (=grubby) is disappearing as Friesland Campina considers the name inappropriate. So De Goor will change to Bronland (=source land).

De Goor is the name of a field and according to Wageningen municipality's archivist, Bob Kernkamp, it designated an area of marshland. The site of Friesland Campina's new R&D building has always been known by that name so when the new road on campus had to be named three years ago, that was the obvious solution. De Goor, a name in keeping with its history, for the road to Orion and all those other WUR-related enterprises still to be attracted to the location.
Not happy
But the first big fish to be netted, Friesland Campina, is not at all happy. The company feels De Goor 'is not very appropriate for the activities' they will be carrying out in the new premises. The dairy concern most definitely does not want its new deserts being associated with the various connotations of 'goor': grubby, filthy, repulsive, disgusting, grotty, dirty, unwashed, unhygienic, rotten, mouldy and unseemly. And so, after consulting with Wageningen UR, it submitted a request for a name change.
That change has now been made. De Goor will change to Bronland. Apparently this is a compromise as Friesland Campina would have preferred Valleiweg (='valley road') as an address. The campus is located on the edge of the Vallei area and - significantly - the name is a canny reference to Food valley, of which the campus is one of the core sites.
But Valleiweg did not win the day. 'Valleiweg implies that the road leads to the Vallei, which is not the case', says archivist Kernkamp, who also has a seat in Wageningen's unofficial road-naming committee. Kernkamp admits that opinions were divided in the committee. The committee did finally 'more or less reach agreement', as it is termed in the advisory document for Wageningen's mayor and aldermen. In other words, they had a bit of a tussle. If no De Goor, then no Valleiweg either. The compromise solution, suggested by Wageningen UR, was Bronland. The name refers to De Born as Born and Bron both mean the same according to Kernkamp.
Two more names
'As an archivist I would prefer to keep the old names', Kernkamp openly admits. 'And as Bob Kernkamp I think Friesland Campina should just get over it. There is not a single consumer who even realizes the company's address is De Goor.' Incidentally, he says it is not uncommon for citizens to have a say on the names given to roads. 'Did you know Duivendaal used to be called Duivelsland (=devil's land)?' Two more new names have been decided on for the campus in addition to Bronland: Plantage for the loop along the building strip to the south and Hoge Steeg for the lane next to Atlas.