A cultural anthropologist working with shrimp? When you look at Willem van der Pijl’s studies and career path, that’s the first thing you think of, and you try to guess what path has led him there. What you would never guess is that it has been exactly that, being a cultural anthropologist, that has made him the founder and chief analyst of Shrimp Insights, and, above all, what has led him to be the co-founder, board member, and managing director of the Global Shrimp Forum, his most recent and challenging project whose first edition will be held next September.
“This is all about humans”, he sums it up. “Sustainability is about culture”, he adds. And he insists, “I am a cultural anthropologist, I always define myself as a cultural anthropologist”. But then, where are the shrimp? They are there, in the midst of all those people. Farmers, buyers, retailers, investors, scientists… everyone who somehow brings shrimp into our homes. And Willem van der Pijl is the “natural matchmaker” who brings them all together. He is convinced that, if done right and as sustainably as possible, “the farm shrimp industry has a very bright future ahead”.