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Exclusive Interview with Maarten: exploring Winclove Probiotics’ vision and leadership

Maarten interview
Maarten interview

Maarten Pekelharing, General Director Winclove Probiotics, on B Corp-certificate

It all began in 2017 with an inspiring conversation with one of our B Corp certified business partners, Invivo Clinical. Our commitment to positive planetary impact resonated strongly with the B Corp concept. And it was a proud moment to see our DNA already aligned with the B Corp parameters, leading to our certification.

Maarten: “I’m thrilled about our B Corp certification! Surprisingly, it took relatively little time and effort (about a year) to secure. The rigorous process highlighted that good intentions alone aren’t enough; a company must fundamentally adapt its behavior. While we thought we were doing well, the process revealed areas for improvement. We view the certification as a starting point, not the end, and will continue to enhance our practices in the years ahead.”

Why become a B Corp?

In October of 2019, Winclove Probiotics began the B Corp certification process. Maarten: “Certification provides clarity on where we stand, where we want to go, and it gives insight into the impact of our strategic choices. We aim to make a positive impact beyond our company, contributing to a greener world and society. We believe it’s our generation’s responsibility to create a better environment, and companies play a crucial role in this. At Winclove Probiotics, our commitment to helping people and society is in our DNA, and we feel an even greater responsibility due to the social relevance of our product.”

Companies need to take responsibility


Achieving the B Corp certification fits the spirit of the time. “I believe that consumers, end users, and society are more and more opinionated on the ethics and purpose of the product. How can we, as an industry, take ultimate responsibility for this? It’s very easy; after all, there are enough companies making tens of billions in profits. If they don’t just think in terms of profit, but take their responsibility, the world could look very different. B Corp’s inclusive approach allows all companies to participate, regardless of sector. At Winclove Probiotics, we aim to inspire our stakeholders with purposeful actions, contributing to an economic system focused on the greater good.”

Sustainability is in our DNA

Naturally, Winclove Probiotics prioritizes a strong socially orientated policy aimed at helping people. This includes focusing on diversity, spearheading social initiatives in North-Amsterdam, investing in international projects, and minimizing our ecological footprint.

Maarten: “Obtaining B Corp certification wasn’t our primary goal but rather a part of our broader Social License to Operate (SLO) strategy. Another aspect of this strategy is our Great Place to Work certification, with its focus on our employees. This is a prerequisite for B Corp, which assesses both people and environmental practices. Improving quality of life and social engagement have always been core goals for Winclove Probiotics, and we’re committed to continuing and expanding upon this mission. That’s why we’ve updated our articles of association to prioritize societal, human, and environmental considerations in all our strategic decisions.”

B Corp in our family business

Maarten: “B Corp provides a compass for navigating the purpose economy, which is particularly beneficial for family businesses like ours. Through our certification and SLO strategy, the ‘world’ has become one of our stakeholders, emphasizing our commitment to making a positive impact. While financial stability is crucial, we believe the true value of our company lies in the impact we create, not just profit. With B Corp and SLO, we aim to engage stakeholders and partners in enhancing our collective impact.”