Science - July 10, 2008

The end of Cereales, personnel out of a job

Cereales Publishers has come to an end. After this last edition of Resource, its twenty-strong team of personnel will no longer have a place of work.

That this is the last edition of Resource is a consequence of the decision by the Executive Board of Wageningen UR to bring the publication of Resource – and probably the alumnus quarterly Wageningen Update – under its own control. Wageningen UR intends to set up a new production team, of which Cereales personnel may be part. The new editorial staff should work under the same conditions concerning editorial independence as those under which Resource is currently produced.

Chairman of the board of Cereales, Wim de Wit, calls it ‘unpleasant, especially for the personnel’ that a thirty-year history has come to an end in this way. In addition to Resource and Wageningen Update, Cereales also produces the publications Boomblad and Kennis-Online. Solutions are being sought for these.

At the end of May, Wageningen UR decided to award the contract to Hemels Publishers after the EU tender procedure. Cereales contested the tender procedure in a summary trial. At the end of June, judge R.J.B. Boonekamp said in his verdict that the tender procedure had not been carried out in accordance with the rules. As a result the production of the newspapers cannot be awarded to Hemels or to Cereales. The judge’s verdict forced Wageningen UR to take a new decision concerning the production of Resource and Wageningen Update.

It is unclear to what extent the errors made will have consequences for Wageningen UR. Spokesman Simon Vink said that Wageningen UR has not yet received any claims from the parties involved. ‘We do not expect any claims to be successful either,’ said Vink.

Jeroen Hemels, director of Hemels Publishers, was abroad this week and unavailable for comment./Jan Braakman

See also the interview with Aalt Dijkhuizen.

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