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BIO GOURMET LIFE FOOD Background Material and Instructions for "A Day at the Office"'

Case study : Hilde Hoefnagels , Plantijn Hogeschool.Belgium IT: Danguolė Ignatavičiūtė, Vilniaus kolegija/ University of Applied Sciences, Lithuania.

BIO GOURMET LIFE FOOD Case background: This present case describes the BIO GOURMET LIFE FOOD company. BIO GOURMET LIFE FOOD is a growing company with headquarters in Belgium and with daughter companies in various European countries.

Your role: You are to play the role of a young management assistant to the Marketing Department Manager in the Bristol-based office.

SPACE Eurolanguages– case material Office Management – K.van Daele


History of the BIO GOURMET LIFE FOOD Company. In 1995 BIO GOURMET LIFE FOOD started as a small-scale family-owned business. Gerben Van Looy was then 23, freshly graduated in General Agriculture. He grew up in his parents’ farm but had quite a different view on how to run the family farm in the future. It took him rather a lot of time and efforts to convince his father to see things from his own and new perspective. Gerben wanted to change the traditional farm into a modern farm which would produce solely organically grown crops.

Organically grown crops Human beings are gatherers by nature. Back in history we looked for and found our food in the wild, brushed it off and ate it. Hence, it is not necessary to wash organically grown fruit and vegetables meticulously. Even the invisible traces of spider web and other organic materials help stimulate the stomach acid! Most people do understand the advantages of eating organically grown food. For starters, it generally has about twice the amount of vitamins and minerals than commercially grown food. Organic crops such as spinach, lettuce and cabbage show radically higher nutritional content. Organic spinach, for example, has twice the calcium, 4 times the magnesium, 3 times the potassium, 69 times the organic sodium and 117 times the manganese as commercially grown pesticide–laden spinach. In our regular diet we have a far too high intake of salt (sodium) so we need to neutralize this with the intake of the mineral potassium (found in peas, beans, raisins, strawberries, a.o.) A great way to boost your potassium-sodium ratio is therefore to eat more fruit and vegetables, which are rich in potassium. Beside helping to boost cardiovascular health, fruit and vegetables also provide a host of other beneficial nutrients, such as fibre, vitamins and antioxidants, to name but a few.

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The beginning “Imagine that one day you realize that you have a successor for the family business. He brings a diploma and a whole new mindset with him. You discuss new opportunities together, in order to generate extra income, opportunities which you think will remain competitive in the future. This is what forced me to look at my company from a totally different point of view,” says Victor Van Looy, Gerben’s father. Going for BIO was for both father and son mainly an economic decision. In Belgium the request for organically grown products had recently outweighed the offer of traditional agricultural products. And thanks to new techniques manual labour had largely been reduced. They gathered as much information as possible from trips abroad to foreign farms and then consulted specialists at the Test Centre for Organic Cultivation. These specialists carried out a so–called practicability study for the changeover in order to get a better insight into both the financial and the technical aspects of organic cultivation. Which investments would be necessary? Which would be the possible subsidies they might be entitled to? What would the potential markets be, etc? They also helped father and son with a cultivation program for field vegetables like peas, carrots and celeriac. They worked out a 5–year step plan so that income would more or less be guaranteed in the changeover period. Eight months after Gerben’s graduation he and his father decided to change over the first parcels of land and they started specializing in fresh own–grown seasonal vegetables, with special attention to “forgotten” vegetables like parsnip, bulbous chervil, jambon vegetal, topinambour and gradually more different types. Apart from different working tools, the changeover also required a different mindset of father Victor. “Compared to general farming one now has to think more preventively and react more promptly. If something goes wrong, there is less you can do. To kill weeds is one thing; to prevent weeds is a totally different philosophy. In each phase of the cultivation the weather is a major factor – far more important than in general farming. We also try not to cause structural damage. Those are all new aspects we had to become familiar with in the first years.” Regional / seasonal fruit and vegetables Today our supermarkets allow us to buy food grown virtually everywhere in the world all year round, but this of course is not the most sustainable option for our local farmers. Buying fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables grown in our area would provide tremendous support to local agriculture. All pieces of food, regardless of where they’ve been imported from, which we find in our supermarkets must be carried in stock by somebody. They are first collected at the place of cultivation and brought to storehouses, factories, packing houses, mills, then put into barrels, jugs, bottles, tin cans, bags, etc. They are sold by commission men, carried in stock for some time, sold to distributors, where they are held up again and finally sold to the consumer, who has no idea of how long they’ve been stored. Neither does he/she know where they are from or what nutritional value they might still hold. All this is extremely complicated and expensive. By purchasing local food in season, you eliminate the environmental damage caused by shipping food on long distances. It also implies your food euro goes directly to the farmer, and your family will be able to enjoy the health benefit of eating fresh, unprocessed fruit and vegetables. By using seasonal produce you also get the wonderful opportunity to try new food and to experiment with seasonal recipes – which simply taste better! SPACE Eurolanguages– case material Office Management – K.van Daele


Growing fast Thus were the beginning years. Between 2000 and 2005 the company grew so dramatically that father and son Van Looy decided to expand and diversify their activities. Apart from producing and selling crops, BIO GOURMET LIFE FOOD started catering parties with organically grown food. They became specialists in raw food lunches and dinners: life food basically means that all food is raw or heated at maximum 120°F / 50°C. Life food nutrition is a diet consisting of fresh raw fruits and vegetables – organic, ripe and seasonal. Life food chefs use mainly fresh wild produce that is teeming with life force and grows well without cultivation.

Apiculture Honey is good for you! For centuries, honey has been used all over the world in different cultures as a natural cure for many ailments. Honey contains natural antioxidants which can destroy biologically destructive chemicals that have been linked to many diseases. Not only does it help free the body of free radicals, honey also supplies essential nutrients for growth of new tissue. Honey is the only food in the world that will not rot. So it can’t be missed in an organic farm. Gerben and Victor Van Looy took on a beekeeper in order to produce their own honey. Beekeeping is a very individual process. There are as many ways to keep bees as there are beekeepers. There is no “right or wrong” way to manage honey production or to rear queens. The best practice is to share techniques and knowledge with other beekeepers. Therefore, they turned to a regional beekeeper with many years of experience. Honey will never spoil. It will do what some people call “turn into sugar”. But in reality honey remains honey. Left in a cool dark place for a long time it will crystallize. And it will then be as good as it ever was (you only need to put the jar with honey au bain Marie till it liquefies again). Never boil honey or put it into the microwave because you would kill the enzymes in it.

Bio Gourmet Life Food goes International From 2004 onwards the company started developing detox workshops and programs, launching even its own cookbook. Halfway 2009 they decided to take it one step further and opened an office in the North of France and one in the South West of the UK. In close collaboration with local organic farms they there set up an office from which life food catering was managed nationwide. Today they are looking at Italy and Spain, where they would like to open offices as well.

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The BIO GOURMET’s Company Vision Going for BIO is to choose good taste and authenticity, for unprocessed and healthy food. It also means choosing enjoyable food.

Selling the crops The first thing, from a marketing point of view, BIO GOURMET LIFE FOOD wanted to achieve, was to get rid of the sad image of organic food. As soon as non-organic buyers hear the phrase “organic food” they picture some gloomy celery, joyless carrots, carelessly displayed unhappy lettuce which costs three times the price of non-organic food and so they logically conclude: why bother? The selling of organic food takes place through two channels: a shop and a network system. The BIO GOURMET’s network system works as follows: A customer joins the network and communicates for how many people he/she wants to receive a weekly box of vegetables: the price for 1 person is 7 euro, for 2 people 10 euro, for 4 people 15 euro. Such a box contains 5 types of regional seasonal vegetables. For instance, a box in the month of May can contain carrots, lettuce, asparagus, fennel and leek. The boxes are delivered at the address of a contact person: for every region with a 10 km radius, there is one central address where customers can go and pick up their boxes. Delivery day is always Wednesday and all customers are kindly asked to pick up their boxes on day of delivery. If a customer wants to change his/her regular order he/she can do so through the internet: each customer has a personal account he/she can manage individually. Within this account a customer can also read beforehand which types of vegetables will be delivered. In case the customer doesn’t want a certain type of vegetable, he/she can change the order and ask for instance for a double portion of another type which he/she does like. The bio shop at the Van Looy farm is modern, spacious, and with natural light streaming in. Much attention is paid to the way fruit and vegetables are presented in boxes and on shelves. The shop itself is spotless. Dead leaves that might have fallen on the floor are immediately removed, counters are wiped continuously, and the shop floors are cleaned every evening. Customers can listen to the soft background music, and there is a herbal tea corner in the left wing of the shop where customers can meet, chat, taste and buy different types of herbal tea. Here they can exchange ideas and experience and they will find all the information needed concerning the workshops and detox programs. Upstairs the shop has a small library where everybody has free access to specialized books, which for obvious reasons cannot be borrowed. There is also a small sitting room where people can read and study.

Detox program Today everybody is into detox. BIO GOURMET LIFE FOOD organises workshops during which the importance of detoxification is explained in an understandable way. It is a two-day workshop that stresses the importance of practicing raw food preparation, providing participants with a set of easy-to-prepare recipes they can try at home. But why is detoxification so important?

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The liver in our body performs natural detoxification of its own but our regular diet overloads the liver with toxins which over time make your liver clogged. Consequently, the liver function may become inefficient. When this happens, the toxins and waste in our body won’t get eliminated effectively and this will only have negative consequences. A detox diet can purify the whole body by cleansing the liver thanks to a boost of herbs, vegetables and fruit. Examples of detoxifying foods: water; it flushes out toxins and chemicals. Fruit, which contains loads of water, also contains fibre and antioxidants. Easily digested food can be eaten dried, fresh or juiced. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, parsley, watercress all contain chlorophyll, which helps the body to get rid of environmental toxins. Moreover, eating raw vegetables helps to naturally cleanse the stomach, intestines and bowels and they purge the liver of toxins. Broccoli is a great detoxifying vegetable as it helps to stimulate digestive enzymes. It is full of antioxidants, vitamins, anti-viral and anti-ulcer components. The vitamins and amino acids in broccoli make it an effective detoxifier, which helps us to free our body from free radicals. It is also rich in cholesterol-reducing fibre which can help control the blood pressure by decreasing blood cholesterol levels.

LIFE FOOD CATERING We were born with hands and fingers which are excellent and sufficient tools to help us to prepare food: to harvest vegetables and to peel fruit. Food contains so many beneficent qualities which we destroy simply by (over)cooking it. Therefore, food should be eaten raw or heated at max 120°F / 50°C. Hence, a Life Food kitchen needs no oven, no stove. When serving food at a party there are no problems with how to keep everything warm. All food remains juicy and tasteful. Surely, the guests at such a life food party should be somewhat familiar with the new tastes and fragrances that are offered at such a buffet. Nevertheless, it can also be an interesting experience for newcomers who can start with a lot of dishes we already know: carpaccios, salads, smoothies. It is a matter of economy, of simplicity. There is nothing more complicated, more laborious and more nerve-wrecking than preparing and serving a good dinner for a bunch of people. There is nothing simpler, easier and more entertaining than the preparation of an uncooked dinner.

Raw food Science proves that cooking not only destroys nutrients and enzymes, but chemically changes food from the substances needed for health into free-radicals and poisons that destroy our health! It’s all about enzymes. Enzymes break down food. Eat a raw apple and the apple’s own enzymes will break it down: it will cost your body nothing to digest it. Cook the apple and eat it (devoid of its enzymes) and your system will have to steal enzymes from your own body (brain, blood, bone tissue) in order to digest it. This is why we feel a little tired after eating: it just costs your body enzymes to digest your meal. It is as simple as that. A small extra note on raw honey: it is loaded with enzymes and is one of the few foods that replenish our enzyme reserve. The honey derived from fruits or wildflowers is the best because it contains sucrose, a beneficial sugar. SPACE Eurolanguages– case material Office Management – K.van Daele


THE SECRET OF SUCCESS It is remarkable how quickly BIO GOURMET became famous and how fast it has grown over the past 16 years and continues to do so. When they started back in 1995 only four people were working on the farm. This number increased in the first ten years to a total of 25 (for both the farm and the shop) and from 2004 onwards they started working with free lance teachers for the detox workshops. In 2009 with the opening of offices in the UK and France they hired 3 British employees and 4 French ones. Moreover, each office has one employee of Belgian origin, more specifically somebody who has been with the company for at least 5 years. From the very start, BIO GOURMET has participated in every big food fair or food related fair in Belgium. Moreover, they look for major events where catering is needed and have gradually conquered their share of the market. For instance, they yearly participate in International Food Event UK (IFE). Initially, they only delivered fruit and vegetables but they now offer their cold buffet services too. They are now well-known for preparing and offering forgotten vegetables and seasonal food.

Visitor numbers to Fresh Food Fair on the up as the food and drink industry bounces back In recent years there’s been increasing interest on the benefits of raw food and its effect on some of the worst modern disease like cardiovascular disease and cancer. This year’s Fresh Food Fair looks back on a special edition. The organizer of The Fresh Food Fair 2011 has announced an increase in visitor numbers to last week’s event resulting in a total attendance of 28,315. A busy and vibrant show left exhibitors and visitors who attended from 13–16 March 2012 in no doubt that the UK’s largest food and drink trade show is still the leading event of its kind in the industry calendar. You may have caught some of the flurry around the so called paleo or caveman diet or maybe you’ve seen articles on life foodist blogs claiming that we should all switch to eating most of our food raw. As we grow older our bodies run out of natural enzymes so our cells stop dividing and renewing themselves. This affects every organ in our bodies – from our internal organs to our skin, eyes and nails. Eating plenty of living foods replenishes these vital enzymes so your body is better equipped to continue the renewal process for much longer – keeping you looking and feeling younger for longer. This doesn’t mean eating nothing but grated carrot, nuts and seeds – unless you want to of course. What a good anti aging diet should look like is a healthy and delicious balance of cooked and raw food. Most of us could probably increase the amount of raw food we already eat – take a look at your diet currently and work out how much is raw compared to what is cooked – and then go for ways to increase the raw food part. Eating more raw food is easy and there are so many ways in which raw food can become a delicious part of your normal diet. Think about a fresh juiced drink for breakfast, a mid morning smoothie instead of coffee, natural yoghurt with fruit berries as a desert. Salads present lots of opportunities to eat raw – either as a main meal light supper or a lunch. There are so many different types of salad leaves, sprouts and vegetables you can grate and slice to create colourful salads with superb salad dressings. Create your own dips like

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guacamole or tomato salsa and have lots of raw sliced vegetables instead of potato chips to dip. During the four-day event, buyers from retailers, wholesalers and foodservice outlets descended from all corners of the globe, to source the newest products and ingredients from 1,137 exhibitors, covering 55 countries. The atmosphere in all areas of the show was very positive, with a number of visitors and exhibitors commenting on the “buzz” felt around the exhibition. The Fair clearly demonstrated that there is renewed optimism in the food and drink industry. This year’s show returned with a revitalised outlook and an array of new features, such as Life Food, Life Food and Caveman’s Diet, but also a special pavilion dedicated to forgotten Regional Kitchens of participating countries The organizing team of the fair also invested in giving the show a fresh new look and contemporary branding to reflect its premier position in the sector. “The feedback from this year’s fair has been fantastic,” says Phil Stoker, managing director of the Fair. There was certainly an air of positivity on the show floor and exhibitors have remarked on the number of high quality business leads they have received from exhibiting at the event and many have requested to increase their space for 2012 and also for 2013. The amount of business being conducted during the show, clearly demonstrates that the food and drink industry has turned the corner and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. “We took a number of steps to make the 2011 edition the best yet and the new show features have been a great success. Our increased focus on ‘new/old products’ has certainly helped buyers unearth the best innovations from around the world, whilst our seminar and demonstration programs offered visitors valuable insights into key trends in the food and drink industry. All of which will help companies in the sector build their businesses for a successful future,” adds Stoker. With such a broad spectrum of high-quality senior figures from retail, foodservice, manufacturing and wholesale sectors clambering to source new products and ingredients, there was lots of business being conducted on the show floor. Alongside the exhibition, the Meet the Buyer initiative was a huge success for retail and foodservice buyers, as well as exhibitors. Over 1,300 participants subscribed to and conducted 350 meetings over three days. The organizers received more than 2,000 submissions from exhibitors to take part in the programme, which allowed exhibitors to pitch their latest products to these senior industry buyers. It proved to be an extremely useful experience for both parties as exhibitors were able to showcase their innovations to the people that matter. Buyers were able to source the newest products from across the globe in a cost-efficient manner. One of the biggest feature attractions this year was set up by Bio Gourmet, a Belgian company specialized in life food catering. During the exhibition the Fresh Ideas Awards were presented to the ten exhibitors with the best innovations. The winners were Bio Gourmet. There were some great products featured this year including a Children’s Life Food party which got a special prize for sensitization of the public. In a playful way children get familiar with organic food. It is proven that not all party food is rubbish. There’s a healthy way to partying!

SPACE Eurolanguages– case material Office Management – K.van Daele


HOW TO SET UP BUSINESS IN SPAIN? Before starting a business in Spain, BIO GOURMET needs to be fully informed on how the Spanish work, what is important for in their business relationships and how they value written and oral communication? Therefore a study for Spain (and equally for Italy) was set up.

Keywords cheerfulness, Roman, Arabic and Catholic cultural origins, family values, energy, diversity, outgoing, hospitality, picaresque, not prone to follow schedules, sense of the ridiculous, image and personal appearance are important, work to live, not live to work, proud, hierarchical organizations, public demonstrations, lack of trust in public Institutions, circumventing the law, talk loudly, relation–focused, long business lunches and dinners, security better than risk, personal contacts are important, good manners, lunch is usually at 2.00 or 2.30 p.m. and dinner after 9.00 p.m., social life: Spaniards love to spend free time with friends, time is relaxed, passionate temperament, fiestas, dynamic private versus old fashioned public sector, expressive, brave and fighter in the face of adversity, generosity and solidarity, values, English not widely spoken by businessmen, sense of humour

Value Elements Individualism: Uncertainty avoidance: Power distance: Masculinity: Future orientation: IT importance:

medium high medium medium low medium

Spaniards are family-oriented. Family is much important than work or anything else. They love enjoying life, and they do, actually! It is not necessary to have any special plan to go out with friends: they just meet and enjoy spending their time together. If there is a working day between a holiday and the weekend, people are likely to “coger un puente” (“take a bridge”: which is a four-day week end). They love freedom and they feel uncomfortable with rigid observance of the law. They are flexible – e.g., no one would be waiting in front of the traffic lights if there are no cars coming, e.g.–, although there is the risk of becoming a law unto oneself. Time is flexible. Spaniards tend to be understanding if you arrive late to work because something unexpected has come up. Spaniards usually go home for lunch, although it is less and less common in the big towns, because of distances. But the timetable is changing from having a big break for lunch to nineto-five office hours. This is because of adaptation to other countries and to protect family life: that’s the time when children leave school. In the summer, working hours are usually eight to three. Personal appearance is very important: good manners and the way you’re dressed will be taken into consideration as a sign of respect to others and as indication of your professional achievement and relative social standing.

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Adjectives Here are 10 adjectives Spaniards like to use about themselves (collected during teaching sessions illustrating the perception of their own culture): 1) idealistic, 2) “different”, 3) friendly, 4) proud, 5) happy, 6) undisciplined, 7) loyal, 8) family-oriented, 9) hospitable, 10) communicative

Oral Communication Elements Cognitive Elements: Oral Communication is especially important among Spaniards because: Personal qualities are as important as professional skills and competences. Face-to-face personal contact is essential. They tend to decide as they go along with negotiations. Language structures:

1. Creates a good atmosphere Try to develop good rapport with your counterpart. Modesty better than assertiveness. Good manners and personal appearance are important.

2. Preferred style of conversation Someone is expected to be the leader. Conversational overlap. Frequent interruptions. Humour is important. Avoid direct confrontation.

3. Typical satisfiers Small talk. Warm and personal atmosphere. Facts and figures. Formality regarded as respect.

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4. Body language Spaniards talk with their body, especially with their hands. Eye contact. Close distance. Speak loudly.

Written Communication Elements Formality

Preferred structuring of messages Not only content, Short paragraphs and but form is important lists. too. Order. Simplicity (Spanish Be gentle. tends to be wordy). Be concise. Uniformity. Simple grammar Correct. structures There are specific Spanish formal documents with their own structure.

Typical satisfiers or needs Good quality paper and nice designs. Detailed information: more reliable. Include a paper summary of your presentation in Spanish

Tactics preferred Visual means that help to follow the text structure. Avoid discrimination.

Ten Bits of Advice 1. Nationalisms are a “touchy” topic. 2. Good manners at table are very important. Eating in the street or in the office is considered as “bad manners”. 3. When going out for “tapas” or a coffee, one of the friends invites the others (not always the same one, of course!). 4. It is rare to be invited to the home of a business person: if you are invited, don’t say no. 5. On the 28th December (Santos Inocentes) everybody is joking. You shouldn’t trust newspapers, either! 6. On the 6th January (Reyes Magos), the “Three Kings” bring gifts to everybody. Shops will be crowded until late on the 5th January. 7. Queuing is not a “sacrosanct ritual” like in other countries. You will need self-assertion in order to gain attention in shops, bars… 8. Most companies have holidays in August. 9. Most restaurants won’t offer dinner until 9 p.m. 10. Try not to telephone anyone from 2 to 3.30 p.m. (lunch time), unless you’re close friends.

SPACE Eurolanguages– case material Office Management – K.van Daele


HOW TO SET UP BUSINESS IN ITALY? Keywords Mediterranean culture Roman Empire Philosophy Artists, writers, filmmakers, architects, composers, and designers, Fashion Cars, Food and wine, Bureacracy Hierarchy, Respect Regional differences, Pride Emotions, Music, Underground economy, Vatican state, ”Bella Figura”, Emigration.

Value Elements Individualism: Uncertainty avoidance: Power distance: Masculinity: Future orientation: It importance:

high high high high medium medium

Adjectives (often used by Italians about themselves) 1. Loyal. 2. Respectful. 3. Good Ambassador. 4. Logic Thinking. 5. Well Behaved. 6. Friendly. 7. Reliable. 8. Trustful. 9. Punctual.

Oral Communication Elements Language structures: The use of local dialects persisted long after the unification of Italy. It is only in recent years that the widespread adoption of standard Italian has been achieved particularly amongst the younger generation who often find the use of dialect as unsophisticated and old-fashioned. Nevertheless, many Italians do still use their local dialect in the family or between close friends, and it continues to provide a strong source of local pride and tradition.

1. Creates a good atmosphere Hierarchy is key, especially in larger traditional Italian businesses. Follow the "cordata" [chain of command]. Respect status and show respect for power, as well as age. Behave with a sense of decorum and formality at all times. This concept is known as "bella figura" ["beautiful figure"]. SPACE Eurolanguages– case material Office Management – K.van Daele


Titles are important. People often use titles and surnames even when they have worked together for years. It is usually a sign of respect, though it can also mean that they feel that they do not know each other well enough to move to first names. But in many large Italian multinationals, however, the corporate culture of using first names has become the norm. Present a warm, dignified demeanour during the first meeting.

2. Preferred style of communication There is rarely a moment of silence in the course of a conversation in Italy. Italians would prefer to do business with even a superficial acquaintance rather than a complete stranger. Italian businesspeople will often base their decisions on what has worked for others in similar situations. Italian communication style is eloquent, wordy, demonstrative, and emotional. Italians tend to be guided by their feelings. Most decisions are made in “closed quarters” by various people, not just the highest figure in authority. In family-owned businesses the head of the family usually makes the final decision. Italians will look at the particulars of each situation rather than seek guidance from a law or policy to solve a problem. Business is often conducted over a long lunch, which can last up to three hours. Be aware that the formalities of dining are taken seriously. Italians can be sensitive if they sense criticism.

3. Typical satisfiers Do everything you can to show how your proposal enhances their "bella figura." If your Italian counterpart does speak reasonable English it is worth ensuring that your presentation materials and discussions are kept clear and simple. The use of business cards is common and you should have your card translated into Italian on the reverse side. Ensure that any advanced educational degrees and your full title or position are featured on both sides of your business card. Italian business people will want to know that they are dealing with an important person.

4. Body language Upon introductions and departures, shake hands with everyone individually in a group. Italians will not hesitate to greet people they know with an embrace. Italians like to gesture with their hands while talking to emphasize a point or feeling. You'll also observe people [i.e. men with women, men with men, and women with women] walking arm in arm or holding hands in public. This often occurs in the evening, during a customary stroll known as "passeggiata." Italian personal space is smaller than that of e.g. Northern Europeans. Queue-jumping is not the crime in Italy that it is in other countries. On public transportation, younger people should give up their seats to older people, while men should still give up their seats to women. Eye contact remains direct and is the way Italians show their interest. Leaning and slouching are unacceptable. In business settings, the individual with authority rarely has to raise his or her voice.

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Written Communication Elements Formality Italian business etiquette requires that personal and professional titles be used constantly, in formal writing.

Preferred structuring of messages Details and logic. Italian communication style is wordy and demonstrative

Typical satisfiers or needs Address feelings

Tactics preferred All presentation materials and packaging should be aesthetically pleasing. It's essential that things look good

10 Bits of Advice 1. Do your best to make clothing choices that are both tasteful and stylish and wear the best pair of shoes you possess [that go well with your outfit]. 2. Refrain from giving a business gift until you receive one first. 3. Wait until you are invited before using first names. 4. Ensure that you learn and use the titles of everyone you expect to encounter. 5. Be very careful with your gestures. 6. Wait for the host to tell you where to sit. 7. Be aware that looking away may be perceived as a sign of boredom or outright rudeness. 8. Show respect and make a ”bella figura”. 9. Eye contact remains direct and is the way Italians show their interest. 10. Hospitality plays a key role in Italian business culture, and usually involves dining in a restaurant. Be aware that the formalities of dining are taken seriously.

SPACE Eurolanguages– case material Office Management – K.van Daele


PRESS ARTICLE (1) Old–fashioned winter vegetables making a comeback Winter radish and parsnip sound unfamiliar to many people, yet both are delicious winter vegetables grown in Belgium. Together with turnips, kohlrabi and red beetroot, these old– fashioned vegetables are enjoying something of a revival. This winter the Auction is attempting to once again draw attention to these “forgotten vegetables”. “There’s growing interest within the restaurant business,” says Bert Stas. “Thanks to top chefs, these forgotten vegetables are being rediscovered.” At the moment these “forgotten vegetables” have only cornered a small share of the market, because it is a labour-intensive process to prepare them for retail. Some twenty firms are concentrating on lesser-known vegetables. “Now that inventive chefs are restoring these forgotten vegetables to their rightful place in the kitchen, we’re urging consumers to follow their example,” says Commercial Manager J. Van Dessel. “Old-fashioned vegetables are something exclusive that people can surprise their guests with during the forthcoming festive season. Try serving winter radish as a spicy appetiser, for instance.” This season, promote “forgotten vegetables” in-store, presenting them as early winter vegetables. (Article by Marketing and Communication Manager of the Auction of Mechelen)

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PRESS ARTICLE (2) Becoming a Regional and Seasonal Eater Perhaps you’ve seen the words “in season” at your supermarket or on a restaurant menu. Have ever wondered what that means? What season are we talking about and when does it occur? Plant foods (vegetables, fruits, grains, peas) are in season just after they’re harvested and become available at their peak quality. For several fruits and vegetables the “availability” is longer than the harvest period. Root vegetables (potatoes, onions, turnips, parsnips) store well for a long time, which makes them available “fresh” months after harvest. Summer produce is ready six weeks (green beans) or eight to nine weeks (tomatoes) after planting. During the summer be sure to enjoy peaches, plums, cherries and berries. When you choose produce in your food store, notice where it was grown. This may sound simple, but not many people do it. If you have the option of buying a locally grown item, do so. Remember: how you choose to spend your money does make a difference! Explore ways that local foods can be incorporated into food service. Help identify local and regional alternatives to current purchases. In summer and fall pick enough fruit and vegetables so that you can freeze part of them. Berries and cherries are easy to freeze: put them on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer: after they’re frozen, store them in airtight boxes in the freezer. In winter be sure to include some of the following familiar fruits and vegetables in your diet: potatoes, winter squash, cabbage, beets, apples and pears. Try at least two of these less familiar vegetables: celeriac, kale, parsnips, kohlrabi or turnips. Don’t worry: your region is nutritionally complete – as all regions are! A diet composed of foods from the region meets nutrient requirements for good health more than adequately: even in winter! (article by Cornell Cooperative Extension)

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RECIPES Just to get you going: some ideas for recipes!

Life Organic Vegan Pretzels

Servings: 3 to 4 A fun no nut life organic pretzel recipe using new Coconut Aminos which is raw organic living and amazing. Crispy, crunchy and delicious! I really enjoy creating Life Organic Vegan recipes of my favorite foods and this one really satisfies my Pretzel cravings. In the photo there is a lot of salt just for a cool photo but obviously you would not use or add that much salt. This is also a very good no-nut recipe. Ingredients: 3-4 tsp Organic Cold Milled Flax Seeds 2-3 tsp Coconut Aminos (thinned with a little water to reduce salty flavor if desired) Sea Salt as topping Preparation: In a mixing bowl add Coconut Aminos. Add cold milled Flax USA Seeds and mix well with a fork until completely blended. Form into Pretzel shapes, I used a fun one found at Sur La Table it is like a cookie cutter but has a spring that will allow you to press it out very easy and consistent to use and top with Sea Salt. Place into the new amazing Sedona Dehydrator which is a new super high tech dehydrator for 10-12 hours (or longer if you like them extra crunchy!)

SPACE Eurolanguages– case material Office Management – K.van Daele


Curried Butternut "Noodles"

Servings: 2 This is an easy life food recipe – aside from peeling the squash – with big flavor. And the squash is surprisingly delicious [raw] tossed in a little olive oil and sea salt; the additional ingredients are an added bonus. This dish also satisfies cravings for salted crunchy foods, like tortilla or potato chips. And it’s nutritionally superior. Ingredients: ½ medium butternut squash 1 Tbsp olive oil ¼ tsp sea salt 2 Tbsp shredded coconut ½ tsp curry powder ¼ tsp chili powder ¼ tsp ginger powder, or fresh minced splash of water 1 tsp agave nectar sprouted green lentils for garnish Preparation: Seed one half of a medium butternut squash and remove the skin––either with a sturdy peeler or skin it with a knife. Then use a spiralizer or peeler to make noodles. Place the squash “noodles” in a mixing bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and add salt. Toss to coat and set aside. In a small bowl combine shredded coconut, curry, chili, and ginger. Stir to mix. Add a splash of water and mash mixture with a spoon or fork. Add coconut mixture and agave to the squash noodles. Toss with a fork to mix evenly. Serve Curried Butternut Squash à la carte, or alongside a simple salad of romaine lettuce tossed with a sweet and sour dressing (olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and agave). Serves 2. Delicious!!

SPACE Eurolanguages– case material Office Management – K.van Daele


Veggie–full green drink

Servings: 2–4 This refreshing beverage, stocked full of flavour and nutrients, will leave you feeling satisfied. Ingredients: 1 avocado 1 carrot, medium 2 celery stalks, plus the bits that are all leafy 2 handfuls baby spinach 2 tomatoes 1 clove garlic, derooted 2.5–3c water Preparation: Blend everything together, serve and enjoy!

Raw kelp noodle stir–fry with spicy almond ginger sauce

Servings 2–3

SPACE Eurolanguages– case material Office Management – K.van Daele


For dinner tonight I had raw noodle stir-fry in a spicy almond sauce. I used kelp noodles, and I must say that I am a HUGE fan. They have a slight crunch to them, are light, don't have any discernible taste and don't make you feel heavy and sleepy afterward like regular pasta. Ingredients: 1 package kelp noodles, well rinsed and drained 2 cup baby spinach, chopped 1 cup mushrooms 1 med carrot, julianned 3/4cup cucumber, chopped sprouts mix together in a big bowl Dressing: 3 tbsp almond butter juice from one lemon 2 tbsp soya souce 1/2t tbsp ginger, grated 1 clove garlic, derooted 1 tbsp water Preparation: Blend together. Mix before serving and top with sesame seeds. Store sauce separately from noodle/veggie mix so that veggies don't get soggy.

SPACE Eurolanguages– case material Office Management – K.van Daele


IT PREPARATION IT preparation 1 (assignment in PowerPoint) Go on-line and look for some illustrations of bio gourmet life food as shown in the examples in the case study. Think of a name for the products and a unit price in Euros.

IT preparation 2,3 (assignments in Word) Go on-line for similar products of bio gourmet life food. What are their characteristics?

end of case material

SPACE Eurolanguages– case material Office Management – K.van Daele


Bio Gourmet Space Exam  

This is the case you needed for the preparation of the 2012 European Space exam

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