Johan den Hartog appointed Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau

Johan den Hartog, GMP+ International’s founder and Managing Director up until 2021, has been appointed Officer in the Order of Orange Nassau, a Dutch Royal decoration for people who have rendered outstanding service to society. Johan received the honor because of his fierce dedication to and advocacy for feed safety, spanning over four decades.

Den Hartog was awarded the decoration and accompanying ribbon on stage at the Berlin Congress Center, the site of the three-day Global Feed Safety Summit. The ribbon was presented by Peter Vermeij, Agricultural Counsellor of the Dutch Embassy in Germany, who lauded Johan’s service in both public and private life. “Johan’s many activities are of special value to society.”

According to Vermeij, Den Hartog succeeded in ‘an almost impossible task’ when he brought the Dutch feed chain together in the early nineties to establish Good Manufacturing Practices. These guidelines would later become the global GMP+ Feed Certification scheme.

“Johan is working tirelessly to take the scheme to new heights”, Vermeij said. “His efforts over the past four decades greatly contributed to making The Netherlands a world leader in feed safety systems.”

Den Hartog was visibly taken by surprise. “I am speechless”, he uttered when called on stage. “I am incredibly grateful. I did what I thought needed to be done”, Den Hartog said, referring to the founding of the scheme. He thanked God, his wife, his children, and his GMP+ team.

“I appreciate this decoration very much and will wear it humbly and with honor.” Den Hartog emphasized many people and parties contributed to the scheme over the years. “I was only a small part of it. The growth of our scheme shows that together you can achieve great things, even when you have competing interests. That is why ‘together’ is a core value of GMP+ International. I hope we will continue to work together and build bridges.”

Johan founded the GMP+ Feed Certification scheme in 1992 in The Netherlands. The scheme has since grown to over 19,000 participating companies in over 80 countries. In his private life, Johan has worked to improve the lives of the elderly, disabled, financially vulnerable, and imprisoned. He has also been active as a school board member and with his local church. After almost thirty years at the helm of GMP+ International, Johan took on the role of Business Development Director in 2021.

About the Order of Orange-Nassau

The Order of Orange-Nassau is a Dutch civilian order of chivalry, founded on 4 April 1892 by the Queen regent Emma. The appointment is conferred on persons who have rendered ‘outstanding service to society. Candidates are nominated by the mayor of the municipality where they live.