Belgian company Montea from Aalst, Belgium, which specialises in really big warehouses, is currently building the biggest bakery in Europe in Aalsmeer, North Holland, a city known its world-famous flower auction and proximity to Schiphol Airport.
The bakery will be the size of eight football pitches, use 8000 m3 of concrete and cost 40 millions euro. Construction should be done in October and family business Borgesius-Bakkersland, two recently merged Dutch companies, will start producing some 600,000 loaves of bread and pastries to supply supermarket chain Albert Heijn.
One of Montea’s last big Dutch jobs was the development of the biggest Internet pharmacy in Europe located in Heerlen, Limburg, of which the warehouse was a “mere” 14,800 m2.
Amsterdam is the first Dutch city to finally put an end to the discriminatory practice of paying employees between the ages of 18 and 23 only 45% of the adult minimum wage.
The Netherlands is one of the few European countries where this practice was commonplace, something that is illegal in many Western countries. The city will start by adjusting the salaries of younger people who work for the city. Although the city of Zwolle, Overijssel started doing this before Amsterdam, Amsterdam is making more serious adjustments according to the youth workers’ union who has been pushing hard for change.
In April of this year the Dutch government decided to lower the youth minimum wage from 23 to 21, but yeah, that’s still discrimination. I have yet to hear a good argument besides exploiting young people for this wage discrepancy.
In about four hours, the city of Leeuwarden, Friesland will be welcoming two F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, which will stay in the Netherlands for three weeks. The JSF is the successor to the F16 (shown here), which has been flying in the country since 1979.
The Ministry of Defense says it’s time for the residents near the airfields of Leeuwarden and Volkel, Noord-Brabant to experience what they sound like because in 2019 the first bunch of F-35 will be coming to stay. According to the Ministry, it is the first time this type of aircraft has been flown from the United States to Europe, which is why Leeuwarden expects one or two thousand plane spotters from around Europe to come and watch the show.
For all of you who can’t make it, watch it live thanks to this handy stream brought to you by the Ministry of Defense:
Already operational last month but recently opened by city officials, the Zorgvlied crematorium in Amsterdam features a unique teepee shaped building that has room for cremations and an audience watching the cremation – a Dutch first.
In fact, the design of the place was all about giving bereaved families and friends a chance to be with the dearly departed right until the end. The upwards swirling style of the crematorium gives the impression of going towards the heavens.
Cremation is more popular than burials in Amsterdam, for reasons of space and functionality, and its popularity continues to increase. Budget surely plays a role in this as well.
You can actually visit the crematorium on Sunday 29 May and Sunday 5 June between 12:30 and 17:00, follow the link below for more details. Last Sunday attracted 400 people curious to see what it looks like.
In a few days Professor Renske Keizer of the University of Amsterdam, 32, will become the world’s first and only ‘Professor of Fatherhood’. Mother of three children herself, she researches the effect fathers have on children in different family configurations and opposes the ‘glorification’ of motherhood in the Netherlands, which constantly downplays the role of fathers in Dutch families regardless of their contribution.
Keizer explains that fathers of low income families play a lesser role than those of high income families and that a lack of affordable childcare, lack of paid and unpaid paternity leave and many other 1950s relics skew the balance between mothers and fathers, with fathers getting the short end of the stick. While Dutch fathers have voiced a desire to want to work part-time like most mothers do but cannot because they are expected to work full time and Dutch working mothers making less than working fathers, it’s tough to foster any change without taking a hard financial hit.
Dutch women entered the job market in the 1970s, decades later than their western counterparts, and the obstacles facing them today stem from the ingrained idea that women don’t need to work to support their families or develop themselves. “Men work to take care of their family, that’s their role. Many women see work as something that conflicts with what they do at home, clean and take care of the children. That’s Dutch culture. You’re a bad mother if you bring your children to daycare more than three times a week, but not a bad father. Society needs to make a change.”
Keize is attempting to see if being a father contributes to raising children in a unique way, but warns that maybe it does not. She explains that generally fathers speak to their children more like adults, while mothers tend to speak to their children more on their level in part because mothers tend to know their children’s capabilities better. However, fathers play a major role in increasing children’s vocabulary. The same goes with reading bedtime stories, something Keizer admits high income families do way more than low income ones: a mother reads a story as it is in the book, while dad makes stuff up as he goes along, triggering children’s creative thinking.
Keizer is also researching LBGTI parents and is very aware of the differences between white Dutch folks and other ethnic groups, hoping that she can attract more diversity to her study.
A small convoy of six self-driving trucks arrived in the Port of Rotterdam this week after an experiment organisers say will “revolutionise future road transport on Europe’s busy highways”. Some of the trucks in this convoy came from as far as Sweden and Southern Germany, and some of you may have even passed them without knowing it.
This ‘truck platooning’ involves two or three trucks that autonomously drive in a convoy, connected by wireless with the leading truck determining route and speed. It it is said to ensure cleaner and more efficient transport. Dutch Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen also explains that self-driving vehicles contribute to road safety because most accidents are caused by human failure.
The trucks drive at a constant speed, maintain the same distance between them by braking at the same time, while standardisation will allow trucks from different companies to ‘talk to each other’.
The Netherlands currently holds the EU presidency and plans to hold an informal summit in a few weeks to discuss changes to regulations needed to “make self-driving transport a reality.”
The city of Amsterdam released a video yesterday titled 15 Years of Equal Marriage.
The video shows the city celebrating and looking back on the four same-sex weddings that were held at city hall on 1 April 2001. The weddings were officiated by Job Cohen, the former mayor of Amsterdam, at midnight.
As of March 30 KLM has been letting its passengers check in online using Facebook Messenger. Passengers can get their boarding cards and flight information as well as ask KLM any questions they may have directly instead of having to use Twitter or post their story on KLM’s Facebook page for all to read. A boarding pass that used to have to be sent per e-mail or text message can now be sent by Messenger.
Although a world premiere in aviation, we’re calling this a Dutch first because car service Uber was the first company to use Messenger. You can now order an Uber as you land at Schiphol if you wanted to. In the future, other companies will follow suit as well, according to Facebook. KLM is also talking to WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, to extend their services.
I’ve recently noticed an increase in popcorn flavours besides salty and sweet at my local supermarket, such as fancy popcorn with cheese and chives and what not from the UK as well as Dutch attempts at making popcorn that reminds me of American Cracker Jack.
This time Italians are bringing the popcorn to downtown Amsterdam, with the opening of FOL Gourmet Popcorn, the first ever popcorn shop of the country. Flavours will include bacon, chili pepper and white chocolate with pretzel. You can also sit down and have a beverage with your popcorn.
I love popcorn and every time I reach for some I say ‘popcorn!’ and picture of James Brown getting down.